Cross Check

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Cross Check

Iesha Brown, Sports Writer

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Most co-ed athletic teams are set up where girls and boys are on one team together; for example cheerleading. Aside from co-ed teams, there are also separate boys and girls teams that are strictly just for one gender.

For this reason, this is why there are two teams of the same sport but different genders. It is very unlikely to see a female playing on a male sport.

Senior Kaia Jackson played on the freshman Lacrosse team in the year 2017. She played as a midfielder for the team.

Jackson’s go-to sport is normally volleyball, but something inside of her encouraged her to try something new and she loved the decision she made ever since.

¨Honestly, it was a last minute decision that I kinda jumped into. I’ve played volleyball for the past few years and wanted to experience a new sport that was completely different. I barely knew what lacrosse was and had no idea I would be the only girl until I actually stepped out onto the field,¨ Jackson said.
As fun and exciting this new experience may be, she didn’t try out for the team her junior or senior year due to a tight schedule.

Being another gender on the team definitely raised some eyebrows, the the boys were accepting. At practices, they would help Jackson with her technique to ensure that she would be ready to compete in a game.

Senior midfielder Roger Watson III has been on the team for all four years and feels that the opportunity Jackson received shows how very confident she was at taking on this challenge.

“I think it’s cool that the coach let her be on the team with the guys because lacrosse is one of those sports that don’t really discriminate others and anyone can play and enjoy it,” Watson said.
Feeling “intimidated, small and out of place,” Jackson has set the bar for other females who may want to follow in her footsteps.

Participating in her first game, she felt nervous and excited. In comparing practices and games, she values practices more because of how much she enjoyed them.

Unfortunately, there are no girls on the team this year but they will continue to do well in the season with the record of 5-2.

“Last season was really successful. No one expected us to be as good as we were. That was the first season that H-F lacrosse was recognized as an official IHSA sport,” Watson said.

They hope to continue their longest winning streak since 2011.

Coach Mark Thompson is the head varsity coach for the last 12 years and the players highly enjoy his presence. He pushes the team to work hard in the field and at practice.

“He connects with us on a personal level and motivates us to work hard and do our best whether we win or lose,” Watson said.

Senior midfielder Elyja Parker feels that the staff interacts with a lot.

“Off the field, they interact with us through social media by congratulating us on our accomplishments and just showing us off to the community,” Parker said.

Regardless of gender, lacrosse is a team sport that helps come together as one.

“It’s not even like we’re a team at times. We’re a family,” Watson said.

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