Sports

Girls bring lacrosse to high school

Olivia Brenno (left), then an eighth-grader, puts pressure on the opposition at a game last year. - John Sage photo
Olivia Brenno (left), then an eighth-grader, puts pressure on the opposition at a game last year.
— image credit: John Sage photo

For the first time in over a decade, Vashon will field a high school girls lacrosse team, the Vashon Valkyries. The team will compete in the Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association’s JV league as part of the Vashon Lacrosse Club. In addition, a team for fifth- and sixth-grade girls team is also being formed and needs players.

Coach Larry Dubois has been coaching the core group of lacrosse players who now play with the Valkyries since they were in fifth grade.

“For the last four years, the Vashon girls’ lacrosse program has been gaining momentum,” Dubois said.

Now that the girls are freshmen, he said, they are bringing lacrosse to the high school.

Dubois said the Vashon Lacrosse Club is known throughout the league for building skill, finesse and consistency across the entire team. The Lakeside School requested to come to Vashon to play the Valkyries outside of their regular schedule, a testimony to the reputation of the young team.

The team’s new name comes from Norse mythology. Legend says Valkyries, which literally means “chooser of the slain,” were warrior women, and Dubois said the name was chosen to imply that the Vashon girls are fiercely competitive.

Girls lacrosse differs from boys lacrosse in that there is limited body contact and stick checking. The sport centers on speed, agility and skill, and is considered by some to be the fastest sport on two feet. Girls do not wear helmets or pads, just eye protection.

Genevieve Rauma, who was an eighth-grade captain last year and now plays with the Valkyries, said that those who don’t understand lacrosse should think of it as being similar to soccer.

“For girls that want to play but aren’t sure, they should know that lacrosse is really easy to pick up,” she said.

The program is seeking new players fifth through 12th grades. A fifth- and sixth-grade team is trying to get off the ground, and the club is looking for players and parents to spearhead a seventh- and eighth-grade program. Adult women who have played lacrosse are encouraged to get involved in the program.

 

— Mary Kay Rauma is the mother of a lacrosse player and an assistant coach and team manager for the high school program.

 

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