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Athlete Worth Watching: Josh Coffman of Severna Park High School

Jan 02, 2018 09:00AM
By Tom Worgo

Josh Coffman verbally committed to play lacrosse at the University of Maryland before he played a single game at Severna Park High School. Coffman was so good as a club player that the Terrapins snatched him up as a freshman in February of 2015. That’s more than three years before he’ll start attending Maryland, a school he chose over Brown University.

“It was very shocking for everyone,” says Coffman, who carries a 3.5 grade point average and will sign a National Letter of Intent in February. “The day after I committed, no one believed me. I had to go online, show everybody and say, ‘I did it.’

“I would say most of the time, people commit during their sophomore year,” he adds. “That’s the hot time to commit.”

Not anymore. The NCAA announced in April that coaches can’t contact potential recruits before Sept. 1st of their junior year. 

Before Coffman, a midfielder, gets to Maryland, he has one last milestone to accomplish at Severna Park. He’ll be part of the first Falcons’ team to play in the school’s new stadium, Roberts Field, in the spring. For the past three years while the school was being renovated, Severna Park played its games at Kinder Farm Park in Millersville.

“I will be honored to play on the field and be one of the first ones to do it,” Coffman says. “It will go down in the history books for my team to play on the date of the opening of the field. It will be a great feeling to be part of that.”

Severna Park Athletic Director Dave Lanham said the 17-year-old is a rare athlete because he is the complete package. He dominates games with his outstanding combination of speed, grit, work ethic, and smarts.

Coffman is also a standout football player and will try basketball for the first time this winter for the Falcons.

“He brings so many things to the table,” Lanham says. “His drive to win is what separates him from so many athletes. He is the youngest Division I commitment I certainly have been involved with. That’s a lot of pressure for someone who hasn’t played a lacrosse game in high school. He certainly has lived up to the expectations.”

Lanham could be putting things mildly about Coffman, a consistent scoring threat who was named a U.S. Lacrosse and Under Armour All-American following the 2017 season. And what a season he had, totaling 42 goals and 36 assists to lead Severna Park to its second straight Class 4A/3A State championship.
The three-year varsity starter had three goals and three assists in a 20-9 thrashing of South River in the East Regional championship game. He followed up that performance by finishing with three goals and two assists in 24-2 rout of Blair.

“He is a coach’s dream,” Severna Park Lacrosse Coach Dave Earl says. “He is so talented, he does things you just can’t coach. He has such natural instincts for the game. He plays great defense and he is a ground ball machine. He sees the field so well. One game he would have five goals and the next one, he’d have five assists.”

Coffman’s ability to shoot at the goal with either hand is another thing that makes him a special player. “My ability to use both of my hands sets me apart from a bunch of people,” Coffman explains. “You have to be able to use your right hand to throw, catch, and shoot and your left hand to do the same.”  

The 5-foot-10-inch tall, 170-pound Coffman gets almost as much attention for his achievements on the football field at he does for lacrosse. Coffman, a wide receiver and running back, started this 2017 season with a memorable game. He caught the winning touchdown—a 91-yard touchdown pass with about two minutes remaining from quarterback Garrett Edwards—in Severna Park’s season-opening 49-48 victory over North County.

One game in particular jumps out to Coffman from the 2016 campaign. He finished with three touchdowns and five receptions for 135 yards in a 49-21 loss to Old Mill. That season, he also led the team in touchdowns (12) and all-purpose yards (1,556).

“He showed up the most in the biggest games,” Severna Park Football Coach Will Bell says. “That says a lot about competitiveness in him and the player he is. He wants the ball at all times and he wants to be on the field. He is the player getting our team going.”