by Hayley Younginer, Madison Metts, Robin Hendricks
The Dutch Fork Lacrosse-Varsity team’s season comes to a close after losing 7-9 to Blythewood on Friday, April 4th.
Though the season ended earlier than the players had wished it, it was not for a lack of practice, optimism and commitment from the whole team from the very beginning of the season.
“I wasn’t hesitant one bit [about the team at the start of the season]. I knew the potential of our team was great at the beginning of the season,” senior Ross Jordan said. “We started working hard from day one and only worked harder from there.”
Fellow senior Alex Rowe agreed with Ross’s initial optimism about the season ahead.
“I definitely had a good feeling,” Alex said. “Everyone put in work during the off season and it showed. The team as a whole got a lot better.”
Although their season ended with the game against Blythewood, their hard work paid off when they beat Dutch Fork’s rival, Irmo High School, just a few days before, on March 29th.
“Our strong points this season were our team chemistry [how] we all came together and play[ed] as a team,” junior Tyler Bates said, “incorporating everyone into the mix to help propel our team forward to try and accomplish our goal.”
To accomplish that goal, the team practiced during the off-season to improve their endurance and strength to play the best they could this season.
“We should have been in a lot better shape than we were,” Alex said. “We had a hard time playing a full four quarters, but as the season progressed, we got better about playing hard all the way through.”
While the performance of the team as a whole is very important to the outcome of the game, so are the performances of the individuals who make up the team.
“I am 100% satisfied because I stretched my limits further by bettering myself daily,” Ross said. “Work hard, play hard.”
District 5 had its own lacrosse team in previous years, but in the 2012-2013 school year, Dutch Fork formed its own varsity and junior varsity lacrosse teams.
“One of our biggest weaknesses was a lack of leadership due to the freshness of our program,” Ross said, “but I can assure that we fixed that up real quick.”
In the team’s second year, they have seen much improvement on the field.
“Well our season didn’t go as far as we would have liked it to go[. We] aimed to make it to playoffs this year but we came up a little short of that goal,” Tyler said, “but we did better than we did last year we went 6-8 this season.”
Many of the varsity players are seniors this year and will be graduating which could be a sign of future obstacles for the team.
“Leadership tends to come from the older guys, but on our team we have young leaders who i am sure will do a great job when we’re gone,” Ross said.
Thankfully, Dutch Fork has a junior varsity team so younger players get more training for when the make varsity.
“Next season I am looking forward to our team improving and doing better than we did this year,” Tyler said, “basically we improve every year as our program continues since we are one of the teams in the state that has a [JV] team.”
Though it may be difficult with all the seniors leaving such a new team, many players have high hopes for next year’s season.
“We had a lot of seniors this year and the team will be losing a big part,” Alex said, “but there are a lot of younger kids who started playing early and by the time they get to their junior and senior years, they’ll be even better than we were.”