The Russell County School Board announced Chris Lark as the Blue Devils’ new coach this week.
The school board also approved Brian Summers, Castlewood’s baseball coach, as the school’s boys basketball coach. Summers will continue his duties with the Blue Devils’ baseball team.
BACK IN THE REGION
The 46-year-old Lark, a 1991 graduate of Gate City who played football under VHSL Hall of Fame coach Nick Colobro, takes the Castlewood position after spending time in Florida.
“My wife and I recently moved back to the area and I was excited that Castlewood had an opening for a head football coach,” Lark said. “This is an opportunity to use the experience that I have gained over my career in a community that is much like where I grew up.
“It is time. This also gives me and my wife the opportunity to be closer to our family and friends.”
Lark worked as an interim strength and conditioning coach this year at Nease High School in St. Augustine, Florida. During the 2016-17 school year, he served as the football team’s offensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coach as well as a track coach at Blackville Hilda High School in Blackville, South Carolina. The year before, Lark was the defensive coordinator for Edisto High School in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
From 2009-15, Lark was an assistant coach with the Volunteer football program, also serving as the school’s boys track coach from 2011-15. Prior to that, he was a defensive coordinator for the Virginia High football program.
He also has worked as an assistant football coach at Jefferson Forest in Lynchburg, Virginia.
PLANS IN MOTION
Lark replaces Darrell Taylor at Castlewood.
Taylor coached the Blue Devils for six seasons before resigning earlier this year following a 3-7 finish in 2018. Under his guidance, Castlewood had a combined record of 21-41 and made two postseason appearances.
Lark wants to get the Blue Devils prepared for the upcoming season and molded into his program as soon as possible.
“Defensively, we will be working from the 3-5-3 defense,” the new coach said. “Offensively, we are going to find a way to run the ball. If you can't run the ball and play good defense, you aren't going to win many games. Once I meet with the coaching staff and the student-athletes, we will have a better idea of what we can do."
Summers replaces Reuben Rasnick, who recently resigned as the boys’ basketball coach after spending two years in the post.
The Blue Devils went 9-13 last season under Rasnick.