Oakley School renames field
Though the lacrosse program at the Oakley School folded in 2011, the legacy of coach James Meyer carries on.
Recently, the school decided to rename its athletic field in honor of the former LAX coach, who led the team to a state title.
Current Park City High School boys’ lacrosse head coach Andy Langendorf used to serve as an assistant on Meyer’s staff. He said the honor bestowed on Meyer was very deserved.
"It’s really, really fitting," he said. "I coached with him for three seasons over at the Oakley School. He’s been around lacrosse a long time. He’s been a big promoter of youth athletics in the community as long as I’ve known him."
Meyer, who was the headmaster and executive director of the Oakley School for 15 years, influenced many players and coaches, as well as students, Langendorf said.
"He loves sports and he loves lacrosse," he said. "He’s super knowledgeable. He taught me a lot about the game. I was really lucky in that way."
Meyer, who has lived in Boulder, Colorado, for the past year and will be moving back to the Park City area in August, said he was happy to have a chance to acknowledge all those who influenced his own career.
"It’s an incredible honor," he said. "It was very humbling. It’s really more a testament to everybody else there instead of me. You don’t get the opportunity very often to thank everyone who played a part in your success. I was able to have that opportunity."
Langendorf, who joined the coaching staff at the school the year after Meyer took the team to a state title, said his own coaching has been changed because of what he learned in his three years under Meyer.
"James is a tactitioner," Langendorf said. "He thinks the game through completely. It’s not just about winning it’s about execution and improvement."
But, he continued, the biggest thing he learned from the former coach, who is still active in the local sports community, was to not worry about the big picture so much.
"As a coach, he told me, if you take care of the small details, the big ones take care of themselves," he said. "I’ve really tried to take that to heart in my coaching style."
Meyer laughed when told what Langendorf said about how he was influenced by the former Oakley head coach.
"I probably learned a lot more from Andy than he learned from me," he said. "I’m incredibly proud of Andy and I think he’s done a great job with Park City lacrosse. I’m a huge supporter."
He added that he can’t wait to see what the Miners can do next season after winning a state title this year.
"I’m so happy for Park City lacrosse," he said. "A lot of those players that won are kids that I was able to coach through the youth programs in town."
Langendorf joked that it’s fitting the fields at the Oakley School are now named after Meyer, since he probably spent more time on the field during games than most of his players.
"I have a lot of good memories of James from coaching," he said. "When he coached, he would always stand on the field. I’d be the one who’d have to constantly tell him he needed to move back."