Tyler Sabens is the Panthers’ new boys’ lacrosse head coach.
Newly-hired head coach of the Whitman-Hanson Regional High boys’ lacrosse team, Tyler Sabens, is thrilled to get the opportunity to take the insight he’s gathered over the years and put it to use.
Sabens, whose hiring was announced Sept. 13 via a press release from W-H athletic director Bob Rodgers, takes over for Rob White, who spent five seasons at the helm of the Panthers. White, who Rodgers announced stepped down at the conclusion of last season, led the Panthers to the tournament each of his first three years, but the team combined to win just seven games over the past two springs. W-H went 5-14 in 2017 and 2-16 last season.
“I am extremely excited to join Whitman-Hanson as their new lacrosse coach,” Sabens said in an interview with the Express. “The foundation here, just in terms of the amount of athletes and the way that Whitman-Hanson looks at student-athletes, serves as a great base to build a successful lacrosse program.” Sabens, who is in his first year as a guidance counselor at Whitman Middle School, referenced the W-H girls’ lacrosse team, which has made the tournament four out of the last five seasons, as an example of using that “great base” to its fullest.
“They’re successful and a program that brings players back,” Sabens said.
After graduating from Falmouth High, where he was a two-time lacrosse captain, Sabens went on to play at Manhattan College from 2008-12. Sabens captained the Jaspers his senior season. In addition to expanding his overall knowledge of the game during his time in the Bronx, Sabens said he ascertained the true value of togetherness.
“When you’re playing in college, you’re with each other, you live with each other, you’re surrounded by each other so much that you’re really forced to buy into one another, never mind the game of lacrosse, but one another and being successful together,” Sabens said.
In 2014, Sabens entered the high school coaching ranks when he hooked on with Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team. He coordinated the offense and coached the goalies up until this past spring, when Falmouth made it all the way to the Div. 2 South Sectional final. Sabens said he grasped how to build a winning environment and mentality, which are both something he plans to establish at W-H.
“Culture is so important on how athletes and coaches look at process,” he explained. “If we’re not all focused on doing the little things great, and doing the little things like they’re supposed to be done – in the field, off the field, in the classroom, in the community – if we can do that, that will lead to the big things like winning, the program growing overall.”
Sabens was also a coach on Falmouth’s 2016 football team that won the Division 2A Super Bowl, running its tripleoption offense and coaching the running backs and cornerbacks.
The Falmouth native has coached JV hockey, power skating, hockey skill sessions, town basketball and lacrosse clinics.
“I would coach anything, honestly,” Sabens said. “Sports is sports to me.”
Sabens met with the returning players and anyone else interested in joining the team shortly after his hiring.
“I introduced myself to the guys [and] had them fill out a small questionnaire, just so I can find out a little more about them,” he said. “It was really nice to meet all of the guys, or most of the guys.”
Togetherness and positivity were stressed at thatWednesday meeting.
“It is instrumental and pivotal that we approach adversity as it comes along together with an outlook for one another, rather than individuals,” Sabens said. “If we don’t approach what’s about to come as a team and really genuinely together, it’s gonna be a long year and it’s gonna be a tough process to start building up.”
As part of his process of building the program up, Sabens said he’s on a mission to retain current players, acquire new players and bring back former players.
“My overall goal is to put a footprint and really hope that people end up respecting the program after this year and kids want to come play for the program,” Sabens said. “Guys want to come back and play for me next year.”
Sabens said he’s eager to get to work.
“This [is] one of the best opportunities I think a high school lacrosse coach can come across,” Sabens said, “to be able to enter the Patriot League with the stacked lineup and the opposition that we’ll be facing. That itself just raises the level of the game being played and the interest it’s gonna attract. I’m so excited to get my hands dirty in the Patriot League and to really start building this thing.”