Not so lax anymore

Girls' lacrosse eliminates self-selection

Not+so+lax+anymore

Lauren Fine ‘16 has always maintained a commitment to lacrosse. Every spring, she makes her way out onto the newly grown grass, ready to spend a season outdoors and stay active with friends without worrying about a high level of pressure from her self-selected Junior Varsity team. This spring, she will face a shift in her usual routine. Before getting out on the field, she, along with every other girl looking to play lacrosse, will be mandated to go through a week of rigorous tryouts.

This week presents a conflict of interest. On one hand, more players to choose from will yield a stronger Varsity team than ever before. After losing three seniors, each committed to a D1 lacrosse school, the pressure to rebuild a team of comparable strength is present. However, some students simply aren’t interested in playing at a level as competitive as Varsity.

On the atmosphere of the Varsity squad, Fine notes that “[the Varsity team] is very committed and they are all super serious and have played together.” This doesn’t align with her motives for playing: “I just do it because we’ll be outside, a bunch of friends will be there, and you make new friends.”

The Varsity team will be handpicked from the entire pool of players, and the Junior Varsity and C Teams will be created based on the rest of the players’ skill levels.

The benefits of this system include a wider array of players for the five-time state champion team to pick from. Fine cites a lack of players trying out for Varsity last year and speculates that the new system may be a reaction to low turnout. Linda Hokr, the new Varsity coach, attests to this, saying that only four high school students who hadn’t already played on the Varsity team tried out last year.

Hokr truly believes in the depth of the players in the program, and notes that democratizing the opportunity for a spot on such a top notch team will only increase the
“cohesion and comprehensiveness of all of the teams.”

For students like Fine who participate in the sport for fun rather than competition, a demanding week of tryouts may seem unnecessary. But, can players like Fine and a program as prestigious as Blake’s both have their way? Is there a way to allow room for top-tier growth and varying levels of commitment?

Hokr asserts that instead of hassling players, tryouts will actually “add to the program’s continuity. I just really felt that having everyone together at the beginning of the season is really important. We have a really new coaching staff too, so it was important to me to have fresh eyes on everyone in our program.”

With this new system, look out for the entire Girls’ Lacrosse program bonding closer than ever this year. That way, budding stars can receive guidance from seasoned scorers, and the most committed players can continue the Bear’s state reign with the support of their teammates on and off the Varsity field.