LEWISBURG – Marc Persing wanted to make an impact when he took over as head coach of Lewisburg High’s football team four years ago.
But the time constraints of teaching and coaching in two different school districts finally took their toll on Persing, who on Tuesday evening officially announced his resignation as coach of the Green Dragons, effective immediately.
The decision by Persing was not one he wanted to make, but he had little choice.
“It was an extremely difficult decision. I loved everything about (being Lewisburg’s head coach) — the kids, their families and the community – they were all great to deal with,” said Persing, who not just wanted to shape and mold his players on the gridiron, but in the classroom as well.
“The decision was made because it was best for my family and I. I felt like I could no longer meet the requirements needed to successfully lead this team while teaching at a different district. I’ve tried time and time again to become an educator in the (Lewisburg Area School District), but it didn’t work out. The drive ended up becoming too much as I have two young children at home.”
Persing, who compiled an 18-24 record in his four years at Lewisburg, including 2-6 this past season, led the Green Dragons to the District 4 Class 3A playoffs in each of his first three seasons.
Among Persing’s fondest memories is a 7-6 win over Central Columbia in the first round of the 2018 district playoffs. That season Lewisburg went 7-5 – the team’s best record since 2015 (7-4).
Aside from those accomplishments, Persing has seen no less than 15 of his players earn All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors and three earn spots on the Class 3A All-State First Team.
Three former players, Nick Shedleski (QB) and Dylan Farronato (WR/FS), both 2019 graduates, and current senior Max Moyers, all broke school records at their respective positions while under Persing’s tutelage. Shedleski is now a pitcher at Davidson University, while Farronato is a walk-on football player at Penn State.
Moyers, a running back/linebacker and one of the recent all-state players for the Green Dragons, has also gotten some looks from area college football coaches.
“I enjoyed building relationships with the kids and their families that will last much longer than their playing careers. It was also rewarding to see the growth that we made on the football field,” said Persing. “I really thought we had the program going in the right direction once we won our playoff game against Central Columbia and then followed that up with a 5-2 start last year, but we ran into a few roadblocks from that point on.”
And although the Green Dragons had a challenging season in 2020, they did win their final game of the season at Hughesville to end the campaign on a positive note.
Persing, however, was in quarantine the final two weeks of the season and he wasn’t able to see his players compete in their final game, but he was happy, nonetheless.
“Absolutely (I was glad they won). You always want to send the seniors off on a positive note,” said Persing.
But now as Persing concentrates on his family, wife, Sarah, and children Landon and Gianna, and his career, he hopes that Lewisburg’s football program can continue to move forward under the next head coach.
“The message to the team was that regardless of who the next head coach is, continue to work hard, be respectful to him and his staff, and make the most out of the few years left that you have playing high school football,” said Persing.
Persing, who played his college ball at Wilkes University before serving on Mount Carmel’s staff as a varsity assistant coach and offensive coordinator from 2013-16, won’t rule out a return to coaching in the future.
“As of now, I’m going to just sit back and wait,” said Persing, who lives in Elysburg and is a math teacher at Shamokin Area Middle School. “I’m sure I’ll be in touch with a few local coaches, but I won’t rule out continuing to pursue head coaching opportunities as long as there is a teaching spot in the district.”