Crossing out the competition

Emma McBride, Staff Writer

Girls lacrosse may not be a UIL sport and they may have a new head coach, but that has not stopped the team from practicing at school. With very little administrative support, the team is still functioning and doing its best to prepare for the upcoming season thanks to the upperclassmen that have taken a stance to lead the team towards a successful season.

Though the girl’s lacrosse team has girls with widely varying ages and experience levels, they have no trouble working hard for tournaments. The older girls, like LASA senior Emily Baker, LASA junior Veronica Ruth and LASA junior Julia Veri, have been making an effort to teach the girls who are newer to the sport about the rules and helping them eliminate bad habits before they start to develop.

“Our coach just quit, so we’ve been having a little difficulty with leadership right now,” Veri said. “But, for the most part, me and the seniors will just run practice until our assistant coach comes.”

With the coach gone, Veri said the season has gotten off to a rocky start, but that did not stop these girls from maintaining a structured practice.

“We usually start out, at 4:15 [p.m.] we’ll start coming in, and once you get there, you just pass around with your friends a little bit,” Veri said.

The girls are allowed to do whatever they think will prepare them most for practice, whether that is passing or getting some running in.

“Then [we do] dynamic stretching, line drills, practicing drills and learning plays, an indian run and conditioning, then sprints and then putting away goals and collecting balls,” Baker said.

Veri thinks there have been some things that have improved since last season, even with the absence of a coach.

“Last year at least, the hardest part was getting people to show up, attendance was scattered, so the only way to get better is to practice,” Veri said. “So, we would sometimes have difficulties getting everyone to come out and play.”

Ruth enjoys the family dynamic and physical demands of the sports.

“It feels like, what I think, should embody a sport,” Ruth said. “There’s really good teamwork, you can play multiple positions, . . . it’s athletic, and I love the running.”

Veri sees the difficulty in trying to learn a new sport and hopes that the newer players can catch on quickly without picking up poor techniques.

“It’s really easy to make bad habits early on when you’re just starting playing, so these past couple weeks at practice, whenever we’ve been with the new freshmen, we’ve been trying to show them exactly how to cradle, which is kind of like dribbling in soccer, but with the ball in your stick,” Veri said.

While all the rules and guidelines can be confusing, there are benefits to devoting your time and energy into learning them all, Baker said.

“Everyone feels awkward holding a stick and cradling the lacrosse ball at first because it’s not like most people have a lacrosse stick lying around at home, but after a lot of practicing it becomes super natural,” Baker said. “I was really nervous, at first, for my first lacrosse game and even just the first practice, but everyone is really supportive and as long as you try your best your teammates won’t care if you make mistakes.”

Ruth said that the workload combined with the dedication you are expected to put into the sport may seem intimidating, but it is manageable.

“It takes a lot of time, but just put a priority on lacrosse because if it really wasn’t, I would skip it all the time, and it feels really good to force yourself to exercise for two hours,” Ruth said. “We’re sweaty and disgusting, but it’s fun. You get back and you’re really tired, but it’s so worth it.”