laCrosse culture

Will Ristau '22

Lacrosse is a huge part of the St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes community. The girl’s lacrosse team has especially been a dynasty in the ISL for the past several years. The head coach of the girls team is Kathy Jenkins who just racked her 800th win as a high school lacrosse coach in 2019. 


Lacrosse is the most successful sport at our school. Traditionally, lacrosse has been a less popular sport throughout the country. But over the years it has gained much interest and popularity among students and athletes. Usually when one thinks of high school sports, they think of football or basketball. Those sports are big here too, but one of the most successful programs with 812 wins has been the girls lacrosse team. St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes has usually been in the top rankings in the country for girl’s lacrosse and is nationally known for our lacrosse teams. Every year the team has multiple players committing to prestigious D1 universities to continue their passion for lacrosse. For these reasons, many would say the girl’s lacrosse team deserves more attention than they do. In 2019, the varsity team won the ISL championship and the state championship adding to their many championships over the years. 


Coach Jenkins has been at SSSAS since 1971 even before St.Stephens and St. Agnes merged into one coed school. Despite her success in the lacrosse world, she actually played basketball in college. I asked Coach Jenkins how the lacrosse team has changed over the years, she replied “Back in the 70's and early 80's we played only a few games, there was no pressure and very few schools offered lacrosse. St. Agnes' field was small and the number of girls in each class was under 50.” Obviously the lacrosse community has changed drastically since then. From what Coach Jenkins was saying about the team in the late 1900s, the girl’s seem more passionate about playing and committed to play in College. Coach Jenkins even stated, “We want them to be a family and help each other out.” 


Devon Fogg, a junior on the lacrosse team who is currently committed to play at the University of Richmond, was also telling me how the team feels like a family. She was explaining that they all look out for each other, workout together, play on the same club teams, and the interesting thing is they start training for the season in November, even though the season doesn’t start until March. 


Julia Duvall, a junior who plays on the team but wants to play soccer in college said, “Well, it's obviously our highest ranked sport, like consistently in the school. And so I think there's a lot of time outside of just that spring season that goes into the sport we do. And so I think it takes a lot of commitment, which kind of makes it a higher pressure, which may elevate the culture a bit to more of a pressure situation than other sports. Just because of the high level we play at.” 


Annie Dyson, an SSSAS alumna and lacrosse player at UVA, told me this about the lacrosse culture at SSSAS: “we committed to working hard all year long and I appreciated that people were able to acknowledge the dedication and commitment we had to our sport. With that said, I want to note that we never received special treatment from the school; we were treated as equals to other students on campus.”


In reality, not many students or teachers show out to their games on a regular basis. And Senior Captain Morgan Lewis told me they have to share their uniforms with Field Hockey which plays in the fall. In the poll that was sent out a few weeks ago, the results were about even with 39.7 percent of 73 respondents saying girl’s lacrosse gets too much attention, 28.8 percent saying they don’t get enough attention, and 31.5 percent saying they get the right amount. Once the season starts in March, make sure you come out to support the girl’s lacrosse team and see for yourself how great the team really is.