MPSH’s Head Coaches and PGL’s Emma Weinberg Named Lacrosse Coaches and Player of the Year

Sara Paredes, Feature Editor

This past week, Miami Palmetto Senior High School’s very own girls’ and boys’ head lacrosse coaches were named the Miami Herald’s Coaches of the Year, along with Panther Girl’s Lacrosse junior and midfielder Emma Weinberg being named Miami-Dade Girls’ Lacrosse Player of the Year. 

This season, Weinberg helped lead the team to making history with their first district title, while also having led last year’s season to regional playoffs for the first time since 2013, making her Girls’ Lacrosse Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Weinberg concluded her junior year season with 41 goals, three assists and 62 ground balls.

Having played lacrosse since the summer before her freshman year, Weinberg credits the team’s recent success to the dynamic between the players and coaches created on the field. 

“We really wouldn’t get as far as we did without our coaches. They had really high expectations for us this entire year, they really pushed us. All jokes aside, we had a lot of fun, but without them, we wouldn’t have gone as far,” Weinberg said. “I’m extremely grateful and happy that I’ve been selected.”

In her second season as a coach for MPSH, leading the team to their very first district title, head coach Jenna Martino-DiFede’s PGL team became the only Miami-Dade girls’ team to reach the postseason, solidifying their place as the top team in the county. Bringing the team to regional playoffs for the first time since 2013 last season, Martino-DiFede’s designation as Miami-Dade’s Girls’ Lacrosse Coach of the Year for the previous two seasons reflects her success with the team.

“I’m definitely grateful for all the support that I’ve had from the PGL family as far as the players and the parents that have welcomed me in from the start and bought into what we’re trying to do. This doesn’t happen without the players and their family’s support, so I would say thank you to them,” Martino-DiFede said. 

Panther Boys’ Lacrosse Head Coach Nicolas Quintairos received the title of Dade-County’s Boys’ Lacrosse Coach of the Year in his first season at MPSH after leading boys’ lacrosse to the Florida High School Athletic Association tournament for the first time since 2015. In their previous season, the boys’ lacrosse team concluded with a 5:9 record, jumping to a 9:6 winning record under Quintairos this year.  

“We got off to a good start, but that’s only scratching the surface of what’s possible with the kids on the team and we expect a lot more out of ourselves next year as a group, not just myself. Not only is [coach of the year] an award for me, it’s an award for the team, and telling other people that we exceeded other people’s expectations but we didn’t quite meet our own,” Quintairos said.

With both Quintairos and Martino-DiFede being relatively new to the MPSH athletic community, their introduction to both the boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams has brought historic success across the board. With talented players and coaches at the helm of each group, the future proves bright for the MPSH Panther’s lacrosse teams.