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York College's Whitcher shows premier talent in PLL championship

The former Spartan captain and current assistant coach also plays in the Premier Lacrosse League for the Waterdogs.

YORK, Pa. — We've all heard that there's no such thing as an offseason for college coaches.

For York College Men's Lacrosse Assistant Coach Matt Whitcher, that's certainly true.

"He'll be playing on TV in Minneapolis, I would fall asleep watching the game and by the time I would wake up the next morning, he would be on a field recruiting in Baltimore," recalled Head Coach Brandon Childs.

Whitcher isn't just a Spartans coach, he's a Spartan grad, a former team captain, an All-American, and the first York College lacrosse player to be drafted to play professionally.

"I've always probably thought I was a little bit better than I actually was," said Whitcher with a smile.  "So when they act surprised, in my head I'm like, 'Well, I'm not surprised at all.' I try to just play confidently." 

"He's changed positions as a pro," added Childs. "He's had to change a lot of what's being asked of him." 

The Huntingdon, New York native found his way to the Premier Lacrosse League's Waterdogs Lacrosse Club. A team that had at one point cut Whitcher, which only made him more hungry when he received another shot.

"Some roster moves happened and I was able to get picked back up by that very same club. Then eventually I got my shot, kind of halfway through the year, and so I played every game since that point.  But, it was still very much kind of like playing with the chip on my shoulder. Like, I had something approved," said Whitcher. 

This past season, Whitcher and the Waterdogs went from knowing they had potential at the beginning of the campaign, to potentially winning it all. Down one goal late in the semifinals, York College's own tickles the twine, helping his team to the championship game and ultimately the ultimate prize.

"There's something to be said about when it's the last game of the season and to be the last team standing," said Whitcher. "That was the first time in my career, high school through college through professional, that that's happened and so it was like it was a sort of a different feeling going into the game."

Two days after helping his club win the Premier Lacrosse League championship, York College men's lacrosse started fall ball. Whitcher had already turned his attention to the next championship run.

"Win the national championship is our ultimate goal," said Whitcher.  "So, as a player and now as a coach, I'm probably more competitive as a coach than I was as a player.  Whatever we can do, whatever little detail there is throughout the day that's going to get us just one step better than we were the day before, that's kind of what our mindset is."

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