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Lacrosse is Back!

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Johnny King helps lead the Sage Hill Lightning as the Lacrosse season hits the ground running

Johnny King helps lead the Sage Hill Lightning as the Lacrosse season hits the ground running

Johnny King helps lead the Sage Hill Lightning as the Lacrosse season hits the ground running

Halah Biviji

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After rebounding from a disappointing season last year, both girls’ and boys’ varsity lacrosse teams are looking forward to a bright future ahead filled with new players, coaches, and strategies.

The main issue both teams faced last year were having small teams.

“We didn’t even have enough [players] to safely play a starting lineup,” Boys’ Lacrosse Coach Michael Finley said. “We actually forfeited our last two games of the season last year because of things like illnesses and APs coming up.”

In addition to forfeiting games due to a lack of players, having a small team also limited their ability to try different strategies.

“Last year because of the numbers, we had to play more of a conservative style with zone defense,” said Finley.

This year, the Boys’ Lacrosse team has increased from 14 to 26 players, ten of whom are completely new to the sport. Finley credits this increase in players to the interest in the freshman grade and to recruiting players from different sports.

“We spent a lot of time building bridges with football,” Finley said. “About 80% of the football team now plays lacrosse, so that’s been pretty helpful.

Even though the teams have many new players, it will be an easy transition to lacrosse, especially for athletes coming from other sports.

“Lacrosse blends a lot of different sports, so players can come in with a variety of experiences and really just find their niche,” Finley said.

Having these new players not only allows the teams to develop more skills, but also helps to create a fun environment.

“What comes with new players is energy,” Girls’ Lacrosse Assistant Coach Teryn Bentley said. “They are so excited to play, learn, and get to know each other.”

However, having teams half made up of new players creates new challenges, and both teams are focused mainly on helping these players learn how to play the sport.

“Getting the newer students up to speed where they can play and really contribute to the team during a game is our biggest challenge,” Bentley said. “But it’s a really great challenge because the girls really want to learn, and they are very eager to pick up the skills. But it doesn’t happen overnight”

With a young team comes potential for the future, as inexperienced players have the capacity to become star players and leaders in the future like senior Nataly ShayanSmith.

“I started lacrosse my freshman year at Sage,” said ShayanSmith. “That was the first year I ever tried it.”

Overall, whether the teams win or lose, the players and coaches are looking forward to creating and strengthening their relationships with each other.

“I think I’m just excited for our team to bond together because we have a lot of girls that don’t really know each other that well and that have never really played sports together,” ShayanSmith said.

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Lacrosse is Back!