Graphic by Sydney Murrin
McHenry Community High School has filled a void in their athletic program with the addition of a girls lacrosse team that will be making its debut this spring. The team will be coached by West Campus School Counselor Sarah Sadler and MCHS parent Adam Tolan.
According to Athletic Director Barry Burmeister, creating a team had been in the works at MCHS for years.
“We wanted to make sure that everything was feasible and we were doing it the right way,” Burmeister said.
After a lot of planning and research, he pitched the idea in July to the school board, who approved it.
Since this is a new team at MCHS, most of the girls interested in playing are new to the game. However, Coach Sadler and Coach Tolan have prepared for all levels of experience and stressed the importance of teaching the basics of the game.
“[This team provides] another opportunity for students to do something that they’ve never tried before, something that’s interesting, that’s balanced, that’s fun,” said Tolan.
Having played lacrosse in high school and also having coached it for eight seasons, Tolan explained that it can take years of practice to be proficient in some of the skills, like throwing and catching with both hands. Both the coaches said they are prepared to put in the time needed to develop these skills with their athletes.
“The whole foundation is built on the fundamentals of the game, throwing, and catching [etc.],” said Tolan.
Overall, both coaches hope to teach the girls skills they can use both on and off the field, such as collaborating with others and working together as a team.
“I think the goal is for students to learn a new sport, feel a part of the team, hopefully, win some games and feel really proud and empowered to be part of a team,” said Sadler.
With the first few practices already under her belt, first-time lacrosse player Elle Smith is excited about the season. She said she’s learned a lot and loves the sport.
“The coaches are amazing and the girls are all super motivating,” she said. “I like lacrosse because there’s something about the sport that brings everyone together.”
The team is currently gearing up for their first game on April 9th at Jacobs High School.