The winners have been selected! Fifteen of your neighbors in the community will be honored with a Beacon Award on Nov. 17 at WoodWinds. Join the celebration.
Sports Person of the Week
Jeppesen Loves Helping Guilford’s Lacrosse Players Sharpen Their Skills
Former Guilford lacrosse and football player Carl Jeppesen is in his second stint as an assistant coach with the school’s varsity boys’ lacrosse team. (Photo courtesy of Carl Jeppesen)
Until he was in 8th grade, Carl Jeppesen never could have guessed that lacrosse would become such a huge part of his life. Carl grew up playing soccer in Guilford, but as he reached the end of middle school, some of his friends started encouraging him to shake things up a bit.
Carl went on to play both lacrosse and football at Guilford High School before graduating in 2009. Now, Carl is in his second stint as an assistant coach with the Guilford varsity boys’ lacrosse squad.
“Some of my classmates convinced me to try lacrosse, and then those same guys convinced me to switch to football in high school,” says Carl. “I made the shift from soccer to those contact sports and was a four-year player in both in high school.”
Carl’s decision turned out to be a life-changing one as he discovered his passion for lacrosse. Following his high school career, Carl joined the men’s club team at UConn. After graduating from college, Carl soon found himself on the other side of the game after getting a text from Guilford boys’ lacrosse Head Coach Brian White.
“Coach White texted me when I got back from school and just said, ‘You’re coaching,’ and I coached with him from 2014 to 2016,” Carl says. “I lived in New York City for a couple years and returned due to the pandemic and got a similar text that said, ‘I’ve got you back.’ So, I helped coach the team last summer doing what we could during COVID and then this past spring.”
This is not the first time the Carl has shared the field with Coach White. When Carl started at Guilford High School, that was also the first year that White was at the helm of the boys’ lacrosse program, making Carl part of the first four-year class that White coached.
The pair stayed in touch while Carl attended UConn, where he majored in sociology. Aside from working together on and off at Guilford for the past several years, Carl also joined White in coaching a club team called the Oilers. Coach White has enjoyed watching Carl flourish since Carl first stepped on the lacrosse field as a freshman.
“Carl is plain and simple the most positive person I know. His kind nature, enthusiasm for the sport, and ability to be a positive influence in the lives of our student-athletes is nothing short of remarkable,” says White. “Watching Carl grow from a Guilford High School lacrosse player to a member of the UConn men’s lacrosse team and now his second-go-around as a Guilford High School coach has truly proven to be a highlight for the program. Guilford lacrosse just isn’t the same without Carl.”
Carl coached Guilford’s freshman and JV squads this spring and felt that both teams had pretty good seasons. One of Carl’s favorite parts about working with the younger athletes is that it takes him back to those days when he was first learning the game.
“I enjoy working with those developing players. That’s where my sweet spot is—with players who maybe started late like I did,” says Carl. “It’s such a technical sport with the stick skills, even if you’re a great athlete. I can see a little of myself in them, and I enjoy preparing them for the varsity level.”
While he credits Coach White for helping him develop as a player, Carl is quick to point out that White continued to serve as a mentor as he learned how to lead a team in a coaching role. Carl became a mentor himself when one of his former players came back to help him coach Guilford’s JV team this year. Carl also works with White’s children from time to time to help them improve their lacrosse skills.
“We definitely have a special relationship,” Carl says of White. “He’s always been a mentor helping me out, even now that I’m in my 30s.”
In addition to White, Carl also thanks Bob Tedeschi, a former assistant coach at Guilford, for his guidance. Carl’s parents, Alicia and Chuck, along with his sisters, have also been supportive of his endeavors in lacrosse and beyond.
“My parents are the best and always came to every game, and my dad would even come to see me coach,” says Carl. “My dad didn’t play lacrosse, but wishes he did. It’s something we bonded over. My parents always supported us on the sports field and outside of that, too.”
While living in New York, Carl was the operations manager for Trilogy Lacrosse, a company that runs camps and tournaments across the country. Carl is currently working at Incarnation Camp in Deep River, helping run the kitchen and the overnight program. He has spent several summers working at Incarnation Camp in the past.
“I’ve always worked in some aspect at recreation, and I’m looking to get back into the recreation field once the world gets back to normal,” Carl says. “I enjoy the outdoors and, at camp, we go on canoe trips, hiking, and boating.”
Carl has always liked the outdoors and spending time on the shoreline. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Carl got more into cycling with both mountain biking and road biking, and he hopes to compete in some races in the future.
Carl has spent a lot of time on the athletic fields as both a player and a coach in Guilford, learning plenty of lessons along the way. While he would like to be a head coach one day, Carl is happy to continue in his current capacity for the time being.
“It’s about working as a team and playing for each other, overcoming adversity and facing life’s challenges. In football, we lost a lot, so we learned to take it on the chin, but celebrate our small victories,” says Carl. “I’d definitely love to take over a varsity team in the future, and Coach White sends me open positions all the time. But for now, I want to get back in the flow of things with coaching.”
Jenn McCulloch is the Correspondent for Zip06. Email Jenn at .