Lawrence Joining Mascoma Football

West Canaan — Mascoma Valley Regional High School has handed over the keys of its football program to a coach whose roots go back to the long-defunct Connecticut Valley League.

The Mascoma School Board confirmed Les Lawrence as head coach during a meeting late Tuesday night. Lawrence, 58, a health and outdoor explorations teacher at Lebanon High School, is taking over a still-young program that enjoyed its first success in recent autumns under Ray Kershaw, who stepped down from the team following last year’s 5-3 campaign.

“It’s an exciting opportunity,” Lawrence said in a phone interview on Wednesday night. “It’s just being taken over by the school as a school sport in terms of funding, still going through that process. The booster group is very active down there and the community is very active. That makes it what sounds like a fun place to coach.”

Lawrence coached at Hanover High through most of the 1980s, the old CVL’s heyday. His past head coaching experience includes stints at Stevens and Lebanon. He was also an assistant at Dartmouth, working with the since-eliminated freshman program with John Lyons when Lyons was the Big Green’s defensive coordinator. Lyons brought Lawrence along with him when he moved on to Kimball Union Academy, which disbanded its football program two years ago.

— Greg Fennell