New girls lacrosse head coach looks to establish positive team culture


Courtesy of Caressa Buchanan

New girls lacrosse head coach Christian Pilapil (far right) at 8th grade orientation with members of the lacrosse team.

Nolan Shen, Staff Writer

The varsity girls lacrosse team will be starting its 2023 season soon, this time under new head coach Christian Pilapil.

Pilapil has been coaching and teaching for over a decade. While most of his experience is with lacrosse, he has also coached soccer and wrestling. He helped start the lacrosse program at Central, and later helped transition the program to IHSA competition in 2016. After his first stint at Central,  Pilapil moved around to various schools in the Chicagoland area, helping grow their lacrosse programs while teaching PE.

Now back at Central, Pilapil’s primary focus is fostering positivity in his teams.

“The biggest opportunity for change in any team is making sure that we have the right culture, the right environment for the players and the coaches so we’re really having a positive impact,” Pilapil said.

Pilapil looks to bring constant growth and improvement in the program and its players. This comes after a 2022 season in which the team had a 0-18 record. Pilapil hopes to keep players involved and engaged in the program through open gyms, fundraisers and volunteer opportunites for players and their families.  

“I welcome a lot of questions [from students],” Pilapil said. “I think it’s important because it shows that they care about the program… I think that’s the best way to really move the program forward,” Pilapil said.

Athletic Director Chris Kirkpatrick, who is on the committee that hired Pilapil, believed Pilapil stood out in comparison to other candidates.

“He had a lot of the good qualities of a coach, he cares a lot about lacrosse and he cares about our students,” Kirkpatrick said. “He has a desire to be successful.”

In his time here, Pilapil hopes to grow the program to include more than its two current teams, as well as improving the quality of play. 

“I’d love to have a very solid varsity team, one that is competitive, one that is dedicated to the program,” Pilapil said.

The girls lacrosse has been holding open gyms to prepare for the the season. Their week of tryouts will be starting on Feb. 27.