Paul Flohr did not realize when his Chambersburg boys lacrosse team scrimmaged North Hagerstown and Smithsburg at Trojan Stadium on March 12 that it would be his last duty on the field as the Trojans’ coach.
The pandemic, of course, then wiped out the spring season, and that brought an abrupt end to Flohr’s career as Chambersburg’s coach.
“It was a very surreal night; it was eerie how it ended,” Flohr said. “Those two schools already knew they were done for the year, but all we knew was a decision would be made soon. But that ended up being the last (in-person) contact I had with the players until they turned their equipment in.”
Boys lacrosse is one of two sports at Chambersburg that will have a new head coach. Dani Clutter, who coached field hockey for two years, is moving out of state and had to resign.
Flohr had joined the lacrosse program in 2005, just after Tim Wilmot had begun his push to make boys lacrosse a new sport at CASHS, and when it became an official varsity sport in 2007, Flohr was the head coach.
“After 15 years, I think it’s time to give the reigns to someone else,” Flohr said. “We had, I think, 96 wins and it would have been nice to get to 100 for the program and the other coaches.
“I thought about coming back for one more year, but it wouldn’t be fair to the four ladies in my house. This is practically a full-time job and I want to watch my kids play lacrosse; I can’t juggle both anymore.”
Flohr’s wife is a coach in the fledgling Chambersburg Area Youth Girls Lacrosse Association, and they have daughters age 15, 13 and 7, and all play lacrosse.
“As you can see, lacrosse is a family business,” Flohr said.
Chambersburg athletic director Jeremy Flores said, “In my time here, Paul has been a class act and a role model for the players and for our whole athletic program. There have been some ups and downs, but he’s always had one of the most organized and well-run programs at the school — and that showed up off the field as well.”
The Trojans went 13-8 in 2008 and reached the playoffs. Although Chambersburg never reached the playoffs again, the program did produce plenty of kids who played the sport in college, had 51 Mid Penn Conference all-stars and seven players were recognized as All-Americans.
And 2020 was potentially going to be a successful season.
“We had 16 seniors this year, we had won 10 games last year (10-7) and we were ready to go,” Flohr said. “So it was emotional when I had to tell them the season was over. Lacrosse is one thing, but all the other pieces they lost made it so tough.”
Flores said, “Paul was in it for the right reasons — more than just X’s and O’s. You can tell the relationships he built with the players because he stays connected with the alumni.”
Lacrosse will still be a big part of Flohr’s life, of course. His oldest daughter, Ridglee, would have played on the varsity as a freshman this spring, and all three are involved in youth leagues. Flohr and his wife will be doing a lot of coaching.
Clutter is a former star player at Chambersburg who found more success playing at Division I powerhouse Old Dominion.
She was in the beginning stages of reviving the Trojan program, but is now moving to the state of Washington with her fiance.
Clutter said, “We started building on the fundamentals and foundation of the game, and the girls worked so hard and were a great group to work with. It was awesome to each each individual player grow as a player and a person.”
Flores said, “We will really miss her — it was great to have an alumni who played at the Division I level, and she connected with kids outside of field hockey, too.
“Her team mind set was so refreshing. She did everything we needed her to do for the athletic program. She even coached middle school basketball because we needed some help there. She was all in for the department, not just her program, and that will be missed.”
Clutter said, “I’m going to miss the program as I move into another path of my life. I wish the players and coaching staff all the best moving forward. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.”
Flores said that interviews for the field hockey position began July 13, and he hopes to have a name to recommend to the school board in two weeks.
“Field hockey is a sport that’s hard to find quality coaches for, but we have some well-qualified applicants,” he said. “We hope to being the lacrosse interviews soon, too.”