Camp Hill, Pennsylvania – Where have all the cowboys gone? And, how about the coaches?

Two local coaches are finding themselves on the sidelines in Camp Hill, but still asking: why?

In Camp Hill, longtime girls basketball coach, Mark Clarke was let go in April, for reasons he says he’s still not clear on. And, at Trinity High School, Dave Heisey, veteran lacrosse coach shared he too was let go, but wasn’t given a good reason why, per a July 15th local news article.

Clarke, who headed the girls basketball program at Camp Hill School District for 20 years, voiced his concerns at the June 20th CHSD School Board meeting. (Clarke initially spoke at the June 13th meeting but was silenced by the solicitor – and the Board complied; but after realizing that error, he was invited to speak at the June 20th special meeting.)

Mark Clarke, Head Coach – Camp Hill Girls Basketball

Clarke acknowledged that Covid impacted the team’s performance, just as with other sports, as well as academics, but overall his program held high standards.

“We’ve earned 15 district playoff appearances, 3 district titles, 8 state playoff appearances.  Our team GPA outpaced the CH average every single year!” Clarke told the Board.  Clarke said this decision conflicts with the regular outstanding assessment he received yearly from the athletic director, as well as the parents and community at large. “I was not treated fairly.  I hope it was simply an overreaction and not something more insidious.”

Heisey’s experience is similar. 

Heisey boasts 158 wins and two District 3 2A championships across the past 10 seasons, under his leadership. But, he was told on Thursday, July 14 that he was no longer the right fit for the Trinity High School Boy’s Lacrosse program. Heisey told Pennlive he felt a “lack of respect and a lack of loyalty,” from the school he once loved. “They could have dealt with this better,” he said. “There are three members of the Board of Directors who are absolutely disgusted with this decision. It’s a small group of parents that are upset with one thing or another.

Likewise, Clarke alluded to a few vocal parents who wield influence in the district. “I asked them (principal and athletic director) how many complaints are we talking about – and they wouldn’t provide me with even a number.” (No complaints were ever issued at a public school board meeting about the Coach Clarke.)

Clarke is looking to be reinstated. Comment was sought from Superintendent Dan Serfass at the Camp Hill School District, but none was given, to this point. Trinity’s athletic director also refrained from commenting to the media, regarding their decision.

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