Dakota Ridge JV Coach Adapts to New COVID Lifestyle


Justin Fields

Players gather for a summer practice under COVID-19 restrictions.

Tanner Fields, Staff Writer

“GO, GO, GO!” 

Junior varsity head coach Justin Fields yells at his players from across the field. In the early pre-season, coach Fields is trying to get his players back into their rhythm.

The coronavirus has put Coach Fields and his young junior varsity team behind. This team lost their first season together due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

This was absolutely devastating. We had a young core of athletes that needed the experience to compete at that level and felt like we lost it,” Fields said. 

Fields was forced to recuperate through the summer and fall months. Covid-19 restrictions minimized team contact but allowed for practices and some catching up to be done.

Outside of lacrosse, Fields is still hard at work. As chief operations officer of a small technology firm, he is constantly working. 

“As with any job, there is a significant amount of time required to perform the tasks at hand. There is a definite balance that is needed as it relates to working full time and coaching.”

The strong leadership nature of Coach Fields’s position off the field helps to bolster his coaching ability. His voice and stature are felt from all corners of the field. 

“I really like his coaching style. He knows when to be strict with us and when it’s ok to let loose and and have some fun playing the sport” Junior Josh Flanagan said.

However, this season the voices of coaches were seldom heard. As a result of Covid-19 restrictions, students were only able to attend practices twice a week and attendance was low. The coaches understand the threat of Covid-19 and have everyone’s safety in mind as a first priority. Coach Fields yearns for his players’ success on the field, though. During the fall pre-season, Fields got a taste of the success he hopes to achieve in the upcoming season.

Regis Jesuit has one of the top high school lacrosse teams in Colorado and was scheduled to play Dakota Ridge during the fall pre-season. With few coaches able to attend, Fields was left to coach the varsity squad by himself.

“The rest of the coaching staff had prior obligations and they had complete trust in me that I could lead the team,” Fields said.

As Fields shouted, drew up plays, and motivated through the game, the players rose to the occasion. The Dakota Ridge team beat Regis that night 7-6 in overtime. 

With Covid numbers on the rise, Coach Fields remains optimistic for the spring season. He hopes that with enough determination and proper leadership, Dakota Ridge can take home its first championship ring to celebrate the hard work that both the players and coaches have put in.

Coach Dak Ricke gives players a pep talk before their fall bout against True Colorado. (Justin Fields)