At the start of the 2014 school year, it was announced that a Lacrosse team would be added to the list of sports available for Academy high schoolers to play. Plant, Alonso, Robinson and Durant High School are just a few of the schools who have girls lacrosse teams in the area.
In just one short month, the Academy Jaguars will take on Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School on February 11, away at 6:00 p.m.
Latin teacher Ariana Louder will be leading the team during its first season, and has a lot of experience on the field. She stated, “I am extremely honored to coach Academy’s first lacrosse team. It has been my dream to coach lacrosse in Tampa since I started playing for South Tampa Sticks in the 8th grade. Academy has the perfect school and athletic culture to develop a top lacrosse team in the Tampa Bay Area”.
During the first part of the school year, students interested in the sport participated in a clinic where they worked on the basics of the sport. Overall, they worked on receiving ground balls, shooting, catching, and passing. Many of the interested athletes are inexperienced in lacrosse; however, Coach Louder believes: “It will be most of the athletes first time ever playing lacrosse, but it won’t be their first time ever playing a sport. As soon as the athletes see the bridge between their previous sport and lacrosse they will excel. No one is a natural lacrosse player. We will take our time learning the fundamental skills and rules before our first game.”
The Jaguars have big competitors including Tampa Catholic and Berkeley Prep, but this hasn’t made Louder the slightest bit nervous. She exclaims, “I wouldn’t say I’m nervous, I’m more anxious and excited! The team has no reason to be worried because all of our opponents are expecting us to be an easy win. That assumption will be our strongest advantage. Our hard work, togetherness, and persistence will make us a difficult team to beat even if it is our first year out.” When asked about her hopes for the upcoming season, she responded “My hopes for this season is to set the foundation for a rock solid team culture built on togetherness, hard work, and persistence.”
Louder declared “I’m really excited to see all the games played out regardless of our opponent.” The students of Academy couldn’t agree with her more. Open tryouts for the season will be for grades six through twelve, and dates will be revealed at the mandatory parent meeting January 8th at 6:00 p.m in Brady Center a North. The season schedule and extra information on the parent meeting can be viewed, here. Make sure you go out and support these athletes during the first ever season of girls lacrosse.