The Eagle

Get the scoop on the revived lacrosse team

Story by Elise Palmer, Sports and Photography Editor

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When lacrosse was last at East Meck, Mean Girls had just hit the box office, the first ever YouTube video was uploaded and iPhones didn’t exist. Seems like forever ago, right?

Lacrosse has returned to East for the first time since 2005, making it an exciting year for many student athletes.

“I was very excited [when I heard] about lacrosse,” freshman Andy Phillippi said. “I thought I would have to go to a different school to play, but I can just stay here.”

The team is being coached by Todd Carter, a first-year teacher in the exceptional children (EC) department. Carter played lacrosse in college and was happy to bring the sport back to East for the students.

“There’s some boys that really wanted to play in high school but they weren’t able to because there wasn’t a team at East,” Carter said. “The fact that it’s finally here makes them super excited to play the sport they actually want to play.”

Carter came to East in mid-September, which was too late to turn in a final roster to become an official CMS sport, so lacrosse functions as a club. This means that the team does not receive CMS funding.

“It’s hard; we have to go off of our own fundraising,” Carter said. “It’s difficult with some of the kids who are from lower income households — it’s hard to get their hands on things. I’ve been trying to raise as much money as I can for gear, games and reffing.”

Along with the lack of funds, Carter is not getting paid for lacrosse this year. His coaching is strictly volunteer work.

“I’m more worried about the kids actually getting to play than myself getting paid,” he said.

Workouts started in mid-October at Mason Wallace Park and the team has attracted over 20 students since, both male and female. Freshman Mary Rudd started as the team’s manager, but has recently become the first female to actually play on the team. Even though she’s the sole female lacrosse player, she says it does not act as an obstacle.

“Being a part of this team and getting along with everyone is awesome,” Rudd said. “I’m just treated as another player instead of being treated as ‘the only female player’.”

Not only are female students able to play on the lacrosse team, students from the exceptional children (EC) program have also joined the unit. The lacrosse team promotes that EC students play alongside their regular-ed peers, and they plan to work with Project Unify – a program that Carter is close to due to his work in the EC department.

“Coach Todd really takes care of us and he’s been emphasizing our team unity,” Rudd said.

Lacrosse has a reached a wide field of students, but the team is still young due to it’s recent formation. The roster is dominated by freshman and sophomores, and many players are inexperienced.

“It’s a younger team. Not as many people have experience of playing before,” freshman Andy Phillippi said. “The people who have played before have to help coach a little bit and teach the younger guys how to play.”

The team may be young and small, but they have big goals for years to come.

“Hopefully next year we can become a varsity sport […] and we’ll have field space so we can practice at East Meck,” Carter said. “We hope to have a similar set up like all the bigger sports do.”

As for this year, the team has a much simpler mission in mind.

“We would like to become a sport by next season, but for this season, I’m just hoping that we win a game,” Phillippi said.

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