For Korin Wheaton, playing with the boys will no longer be her only choice. The Wilcox sophomore has been playing travel lacrosse on a boys team, but this spring she will get the opportunity to lead her fellow Charger girls on the pitch. The new squad is the first Wilcox lacrosse team. Previously the school has never had a boys nor girls lacrosse team. These days lacrosse—a sport which shares a co-pastime title with hockey north of the border in Canada—is a sport on the rise, particularly in the Bay Area.
“It’s really growing in this area,” acknowledged Wilcox Athletic Director Laura Stott-Hardesty. “We were able to find a couple of coaches who are both really eager and excited to help build a program and start something new at the school.”
Luis Lujan, Head Coach of varsity girls soccer—has been tapped to coach varsity lacrosse with Daniel Burkhead coaching the junior varsity team. Wheaton, who was the driving force behind the push for a lacrosse team, is obviously thrilled that the school elected to add the sport to the spring schedule.
“I was super excited when the news came out that we were going to have a team,” recalled Wheaton. “My friends called me at the beginning of the year and they were like ‘Korin! Lacrosse is going to be a sport!’”
Starting last school year, there were multiple interest meetings about lacrosse. Wheaton admits those meetings gave her some hope, but it remains to be seen how many girls will actually come through when tryouts are held in January.
“Last year we had an interest meeting and there were a lot of seniors interested in lacrosse,” noted Wheaton. “But I’m not sure if the freshmen will have the same interest.”
So why did Wheaton fall in love with lacrosse?
“I really like it because it’s a team sport where you have to work together and learn strategy. It’s similar to basketball.”
Unlike boys lacrosse, Wheaton refers to girls lacrosse as “almost a completely different sport” admitting that less physical contact is a good thing.
“Girls lacrosse is almost a completely different sport. Rules change depending on where you play, but girls tend to be less aggressive and don’t want to be as aggressive toward each other like with boys and football. I really think it’s fine for girls lacrosse to be less physical because girls would likely be uncomfortable if there was more contact.”
Other schools starting up girls lacrosse teams have a problem when it comes to generating interest. Some girls who might be interested in learning lacrosse often think of the more violent men’s game and that can turn them off. In reality, the girls game is much more about skills than brute force. A good example would be flag football compared to tackle football.
For any Charger girls interested in learning lacrosse, Verve Lacrosse is hosting a clinic at Wilcox on Dec. 2. They are welcoming middle school and high school girls grades 8-12 from any school to come out between 12-2 p.m. There is a $20 fee for the clinic.