Coach Lancaster starts new chapter

Fred Jeter | 6/24/2016, 10:10 a.m.
George Lancaster says he has retired. Officially he has after 37 seasons and two Virginia championships at Highland Springs High ...

City League: Coach Lancaster didn’t stop playing when he left VSU. He was MVP in 1974 of the Richmond City Rec League with teammates such as Fred Bibby, the brother of NBA guard Henry Bibby.

All-time Springers: Coach Lancaster’s glittering list of All-Metro Springers started in 1983 with Brian Washington, a brilliant athlete who later played eight NFL seasons.

Metro Players of the Year under Coach Lancaster were J.J. Williams in 1992, Andre Ingram in 2003, Brandon Rozzell who shared the honor with Benedictine’s Ed Davis in 2007 and Jarvis Threatt in 2011.

Although he wasn’t All-Metro, Coach Lancaster lists Jay Threatt, Jarvis’ brother, as “probably the best point guard to ever play around here.”

Overall, Coach Lancaster refers to his decades-long assembly line of talent as “a blessing.”

He downplays his Xs and Os, saying, “tricky plays don’t win games — tricky players do.”

Protégé: Coach Lancaster’s first “name player” was 5-foot-9 Ricky Stokes (about Coach Lancaster’s height), who dazzled three years at Huguenot High before transferring to Highland Springs High.

Stokes later joined Ralph Sampson at the University of Virginia and is currently associate commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. Stokes also is a former head coach at Virginia Tech and East Carolina University.

No. 1 in Virginia: Highland Springs High won the state Group AAA championship in 2003, beating South Lakes High of Reston 50-35. The Springers repeated in 2007, with a 70-52 victory over George Washington High School of Danville at the Siegel Center. From the 2007 champs, Brandon Rozzell became a top gun for Virginia Commonwealth University’s 2011 Final Four squad.

The beat goes on: Coach Lancaster isn’t exiting with the cupboard bare. Twelve players will return from the last season’s roster at Highland Springs. Expectations for the 2016-17 season are high, as usual.

Coach Lancaster has recommended former player and assistant coach Reggie Tennyson as his successor.