The Start of a New Season

By Lydia Concannon

     The Oyster River High School Girl’s Varsity Lacrosse team has undergone major changes this season as they have been introduced to a whole new coaching staff. As the 2016 girls lacrosse season started, ORHS was unsure who would replace last years coaches.

     Emily Rodgers, a 2012 ORHS graduate and the new Physical Education teacher, stepped up to take on the role of head coach for the girls team. “I knew I wanted to be involved in some capacity I just didn’t know exactly what my role was going to be in the beginning and then Casey Reynolds, the previous coach, could no longer fit it into her schedule. It worked out really well and the position was open so I said ‘you know why not?’” Rodgers was also inducted into the ‘100 Point Club’ during high school and played for four years at Springfield College before graduating in 2015. She adds, “I wanted to stay involved in the game. I love lacrosse and it’s just so fantastic so it all just worked out really well.”

     The players have seemed to enjoy having Rodgers as their new coach as well as having other UNH athletes help out. Kathryn Lanoue (‘16), one of three captains on the team, comments, “Having coach Rodgers has made things much more convenient because we can have practices right after school as opposed to later in the evening (our previous coach couldn’t get out of work as early).  Also, it’s great because we can talk to her whenever we need to because she’s in the building during the school day.”

     The team endured rigorous training before entering into their season. The team started their preseason in early March with after-school practices running drills and scrimmages. “Preseason went really well. The captains tried to organize a lot of morning practices in February and March, and closer to tryouts we had longer preseason practices.  In the past couple of years, we never had many preseason opportunities,” says Lanoue.

                            ORHS Girls Varsity Team huddles together at game vs Coe Brown.                              Photo Credit: Jeannine Ritchie

Rodgers has been strengthening the team through workouts and conditioning but the girls have also become a strong team through unity. “The girls are all really really hard workers. They don’t stop until the end of practice which is absolutely fantastic. When you have that kind of work ethic you really have nowhere to go but up,” says Rodgers.

     As well as the team’s skills, their outlook on the season has also improved. “I think the season has been going pretty well. This year has definitely been an improvement from last year. I think this is because some of the new freshmen are very skilled and they help out the team a lot. The new coach has a lot of knowledge about the game and has experience playing. Also the team has a much more positive outlook this year and that has helped a lot. Overall this season has been great and as a team we are improving everyday,” says Julia Ravenelle (‘18).

     “I think our biggest strength as a team is our attitude. Everyone comes to every practice and game with a positive and competitive mindset. Having a positive mindset is really important because lacrosse is such a mental game. Along with that everyone has a really strong sense of competition. We are all really competitive  individuals which is another reason we’ve done so well this season; none of us like to lose, adds Emily Haight (‘16), another co-captain.

     A lot of work has gone into making the team as strong as it can be and the girls will continue to improve their game throughout the season. “I think the preseason [went well]. Coach Rodgers and the captains have really focused in on stressing basic skills, team unity and integrity which I think will be very important throughout the season,” says Rose Mroczka (‘17), another member of the team.

     Having a new coaching staff can sometimes disrupt a team’s rhythm but in this case it seems to have a positive outcome for the ORHS Girl’s LAX team. The upcoming season will bring more games and practices for the team. Their schedule can be found here.