Last year, junior Marissa Horwitz played on a club girls lacrosse team that consisted of girls predominately from the Blue Valley area. Making the long drive at 6 p.m. four times a week gave Horwitz an idea.
“I decided I wanted to start my own club team in the Shawnee Mission area,” Horwitz said. “My coach and I talked about the idea of starting my own team. He said that it wouldn’t be too difficult and could be done.”
After talking to her coach, Horwitz became determined. She taped up fliers all around East to make the program known. She ventured to Shawnee Mission South where she hung posters and passed out information.
“The team is currently up to 38 players,” Horwitz said. “I expect that will continue to grow. The team is a great mix of all high school grade levels and I hope that the freshmen will keep the program going.”
As word of the team is passed around, more people want to get involved. Senior Haley Dalgleish talked to her friends about the team and they also wanted to join the program.
“I decided that I did not want to play soccer this year but I wanted to stay in shape,” Dalgleish said. “I feel that lacrosse will be a fun sport for me.”
Horwitz has expected many East students to show an interest. Sh has received instant success after establishing her Facebook group and creating posters.
“Walking through the halls, I spotted a blue flier that said there was a girls’ lacrosse meeting,” freshman Madison May said. “I was so excited because I was told at the beginning of the school year that East didn’t have a lacrosse team. After seeing it, I wanted to join.”
Although the majority of the players are from East, members come from other schools: Shawnee Mission South, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Shawnee Mission West and Blue Valley. The schedule is not fully set, but the team is expected to play private schools in the area and to practice four times a week.
There will be two teams—one for experienced players and a another for those that are not. Although this is a club team, the concept of JV and Varsity still exists. JV will be the team for new comers, while varsity will be made up of girls who have experience.
Horwitz dedicates much of her time to lacrosse. This is her third year playing and her first year playing year round. She spent approximately six hours of practice each week when she played club this past year. Horwitz started playing in recreation leagues and eventually decided to play on club teams that are more competitive.
“After watching my brother play lacrosse, I decided I wanted to do it too,” Horwitz said. “I love playing lacrosse and the competitive aspect of it.”
Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. No sport has grown faster at a high school level over the past ten years than lacrosse. It requires players that posses quickness and agility because the game is played at a fast paced rate. Lacrosse attracts people that play different sports as it is a combination of basketball, soccer and hockey.
“Lacrosse is like soccer in the way that there are positions and like hockey in the way that you move up and down the field,” senior Louisa Morton said. “It’s also like basketball because you switch back and forth from defense to offense.”
Many people who have not played lacrosse in the past have taken the next step in getting better. Morton goes to lacrosse clinics and scrimmages on Tuesdays, Sundays, Thursdays and Saturdays to better her skill level.
“The girls who have never played before have been involved in an indoor beginner league,” Horwitz said. “Also, girls are doing softball and soccer conditioning to get ready. The goal is to have only East girls in a couple of years and to keep the program growing.”