Thomas Dale High School lacrosse has seen steady growth since coach Paul Amos helped start the program in 2013. Having players like Jonathan Pope, who was named the 2019 Village News boys lacrosse Player of the Year, certainly helps the cause.
This year, the Knights made their third regional semifinal appearance after a first-round victory over Riverbend. Pope, a senior, who was called “a complete two-way midfielder” by his coach, was a big part of the team’s success in their 9-6 campaign.
“He leads by example,” Amos said. “He is one of the toughest kids that I have ever coached. An exceptionally hard worker, he also coordinates workouts for new players to help them with their skill development.”
Talk about a coach on the field. Amos said Pope is also a skilled player on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. His offensive skills have developed mightily since his debut for Thomas Dale as a sophomore.
“He is becoming a player who can cover the opponent’s best offensive player,” Amos said. “And their best defensive player may not be able to cover him.”
Pope scored 38 goals in 2019 and had 23 assists. An active player full of hustle, he plans to have a Knights’ loss to Cosby not be the last game of competitive lacrosse he plays.
“Pope hopes to play in college,” Amos said. “He has been in communication with Virginia Wesleyan, VMI and Hampden-Sydney, but I expect the list to grow dramatically over the summer.”
More than just an athlete, Pope was academically excellent and even captained a team outside of lacrosse – Thomas Dale’s academic quiz team.