Volleyball has surrounded Lance Ranck for nearly his entire life.
It serves as an outlet for him to teach. while also having some fun with the players.
As the head coach of the Dallastown boys’ volleyball program the past two seasons, the 46 year old was able to coach both of his sons, Peyton and Braedon, while they were in high school.
While he will continue to remain involved in coaching in the club ranks, the timing just wasn’t right for him to continue leading the Wildcat program. That is why Ranck, who spent six years as an assistant coach before taking over the program for the 2015 season, decided to tender his resignation earlier this week.
“This was a very difficult decision for me,” he said. “Most of these kids — especially the seniors — I’ve known since they were like 7 or 8 years old. It’s very tough in those regards to walk away from them.”
While his decision coincides with the graduation of his oldest son (Peyton), his younger son (Braedon) will just be a sophomore come this fall.
The realization that this was the time that is right to step away was not well-received by all parties.
“Some tears,” he said about his players’ reactions. “They were pretty upset, but they understood it.”
While the Dallastown boys' volleyball program isn’t quite at the same level as rivals Northeastern and Central York, the Wildcats have always been among the league’s better squads. The tough reality, however, is that even after fielding a quality club, such as the one he did this past season, it's not easy to parlay that into success at the district or state levels.
Ranck’s squad finished with a solid 9-5 record this past season. But the Wildcats were victimized by a tough league and non-league schedule that saw the Wildcats finish 13th in the District 3-AAA power rankings.
Of their five losses, four of them were against teams that qualified for the PIAA tournament (Northeastern, Red Lion, York Suburban, Penn Manor).
Much to Ranck’s dismay, only the top 12 teams qualified for the District 3-AAA bracket.
“For us to not even make districts after the season that we had was very difficult,” Ranck said. “But playing in District 3 and in York County, where the competition is amazing and the coaching is amazing, is tough.”
While his decision is bittersweet, the former Dallastown coach has not ruled out a return in the future. But he knows that the time commitment to being excellent is no easy chore, especially around this area.
“We play against some of the best volleyball teams in the East Coast,” Ranck said. “It’s very difficult to be a successful volleyball coach here in this area. The competition is always incredible and you have to try to be a step ahead of the competition. And it’s tough to try to be as good as some of the premier programs (Northeastern, Central York, Hempfield) out there.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.