Oak Hill/Monmouth/Lisbon boys lacrosse assistant coach Chad Richard, left, and son Caleb Richard, a senior attacker/midfielder, have helped the Raiders reach the Class C state championship game against Waynflete on Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. Wil Kramlich/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

WALES — Chad Richard isn’t looking forward to Monday. There will be no celebrating, and more importantly, there will be no lacrosse.

It was like that last year during a forgettable, canceled spring season, but this spring has been everything last year’s wasn’t.

Richard, an assistant coach for the Oak Hill/Monmouth/Lisbon boys team, has been part of an undefeated season that will culminate Saturday in the Class C state championship. The Raiders (13-0) face Waynflete (13-1) at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland at 3:30 p.m.

Making the season even more special has been sharing it with his two sons, senior attacker/midfielder Caleb and fellow assistant coach Ethan.

Sunday is Father’s Day, and a win Saturday would be the ultimate present, Richard said, but, he adds, “just getting the opportunity is unreal.”

Then Monday, win or lose, he’ll ask himself in the afternoon, with no game, no practice, what he’s going to do with himself.

Chad Richard has been at this lacrosse coaching thing for a long time. A former Oak Hill boys lacrosse player himself, and a part of the Raiders’ most recent championship teams — back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993 when he was a freshman and sophomore, before the sport was sanctioned by the Maine Principals’ Association — he introduced the sport to Ethan and Caleb when they were in grade school.

“I wanted to provide our kids of the community the opportunity to play lacrosse that I had,” Richard said. “I was able to play from fifth grade through high school and fell in love with the game. And so nine years ago they came to me and said, ‘Hey, Dad, we don’t want to play baseball anymore.’ So I said, ‘OK, let’s start a lacrosse program.’ And nine years later, here we are, going to play in states. It’s unbelievable.”

Richard and his former teammate, Aaron Wright, started the youth program, and Richard joined the high school program six years ago when Ethan was a freshman. It’s been a steady climb toward the state championship game since then.

“When we first came in we took some lumps. My oldest son was with us and we only had 13 players,” Chad Richard said. “By the time Caleb came here, I think Caleb has only lost maybe five games in his three seasons of lacrosse. So when he got here, we were already starting in the right direction, but this group of kids we have now has taken us, obviously, to the top of the mountain.”

The Richard family has played a big part in the Raiders’ success.

Ethan Richard was a Sun Journal All-Region player before graduating in 2019 and moving on to play at St. Joseph’s College. And according to head coach Joe Hinkley, “(Caleb) has been a big contributor but quiet one,” scoring 20 goals and dishing out 12 assists this season.

Caleb said he’s had a better season than he thought he would have, and it’s been a pleasant surprise.

“My sophomore year I didn’t score as much as I did this year, like really at all. So this year’s been a big change,” he said. “I have a much bigger role on the team.”

Oak Hill/Monmouth/Lisbon’s Caleb Richard finds a hole between Wells’ Jonah Potter and Brady Fox during Wednesday’s Class C state semifinal game at Oak Hill High School. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

As for having his father as a coach, Caleb said the experience has been “pretty crazy.”

“Sometimes he gives me some pretty good suggestions, sometimes he gives me some not-so-good ones,” Caleb said. “I mean, it’s been nine years of lacrosse, so he definitely brought me as far as he could, and then after that he paid for me to get to where I am now. So it’s been a fun ride.”

Chad Richard said he’s been a mostly hands-off coach to Caleb, other than basics, for a long time because, “to be honest, (Caleb and Ethan are) kind of passed my skill level.”

Caleb has had just as much coaching from the coach that will be on the other end of the sideline Saturday, Waynflete head coach Andrew Leach, who Caleb has played for in travel lacrosse three years in a row.

“The development’s been fun, but he knows as much lacrosse as I do, just from sitting in the living room with me and his brother,” Chad Richard said.

Caleb is looking to follow in his brother’s footsteps and also play college lacrosse, but admitted there’s times where he needs a break from the lacrosse-centric part of his life.

“There’s times where I’m like, ‘Yeah, I don’t really feel like talking about lacrosse,’ and I’ll just stay downstairs,” Caleb said. “But most of the time I’ll talk to (my dad) for a while. When Ethan’s home, that’s when we talk a lot because obviously Ethan plays in college, so he knows a lot more than we do at this point. Like he brings new perspectives when we’re watching games, so we don’t really understand as much because we haven’t played and seen the same stuff that he has.”

Caleb said he played a lot of video games when the 2020 season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and didn’t really start ramping back up to lacrosse until a week before the preseason started this year. He said he wasn’t even certain he wanted to play this year, “and now, I mean, obviously, I’m happy we played. We’re going to states on Saturday, so …”

His teammates, many of whom he’s played with for a long time, are the reason he came back, he said.

“I looked at the team we were going to have, and I was like, ‘I can’t not play one last year with these guys,'” he said.

Caleb sticking with it has given him a chance at a state championship that Ethan didn’t get. The Raiders finished the 2019 regular season with a perfect record, but they suffered a heartbreaking loss to Maranacook/Winthrop/Spruce Mountain in the Class C quarterfinals. It’s something Caleb can’t help but hold over his brother’s head, but he said it has been fun having Ethan and his Oak Hill and St. Joe’s classmate Xavier Michaud on the coaching staff.

This season has also given Chad Richard the chance at a special early Father’s Day present with a win Saturday.

“It’s awesome. What father wouldn’t want to coach a championship game with his son playing in it?” Chad Richard said. “And Ethan will be on the sideline with us. So I’ll be on the sidelines at the state championship game, with both of my boys on the sidelines with me. That’s as good as you can get for a coach.”

He’ll worry about Monday when it comes, but first he has a special weekend to look forward to.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Daily Headlines

  • Sign up and get the top stories to begin the day delivered to your inbox at 6 a.m.