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The Madison Record

Like to try a different sport? James Clemens Girls Lacrosse Team has openings

MADISON – The Girls Lacrosse Team at James Clemens High School is wrapping up its second season, and the team and coach are recruiting new players to join the team.

“We are the ONLY high school girls team in North Alabama and barely have enough players. This year we will lose five seniors, too,” spokesperson Misty Merschat said.

“Our team is considered a club, so we welcome girls from multiple high schools: James Clemens, Huntsville High, Sparkman High and St. John Paul II Catholic School,” Merschat said.

The James Clemens Lacrosse team plays high schools in the Birmingham area. All games — home and away – are scheduled for weekends. The season runs from January to April.

Girls must be in grades 8-12 and show “a great attitude and are willing to work,” Merschat said. “At one time, 12 people can play on the field. We can have up to 20 or so players.”

The 2021 team members are Eden Strickland, eighth grade; freshmen — Amber Wilson, Lauren Merschat, Ainsley Lenahan and Lila Gilmartin; sophomores — Paysen Grandy, Rylie Rivera and Victoria Hirst; juniors — Paige Gilmartin, Laura Counts, Jade Parkes, Jessica Reese and Courtney Ortel; and seniors — Brei Crawford, Katie Daniels, Andrea Torres, Mikia Atherton, Erin Ruch and Rachel Zuvanich.

Player equipment includes a lacrosse stick, mouthguard, goggles and cleats.

“Lacrosse is governed by the Greater Birmingham Lacrosse Association. It is not a sanctioned high school sport yet,” Merschat said. James Clemens has had games with Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, Oak Mountain, Spain Park, Auburn, Hoover, Thompson and Trussville high schools.

“Lacrosse can be played on any grass or turf field. At James Clemens, we play on the football field, as we do at away games,” Coach Ashtyn Hiron said. Instead of yard lines, lacrosse uses specific markings. Fields measure approximately 60 yards wide, 110 yards long.

“Because lacrosse is not sanctioned as a high school sport, students often choose other sports, like soccer or volleyball,” Hiron said. However, lacrosse is starting slowly to gain popularity in the South. “It’s primarily a northern sport, with native American roots.”

A player needs skills in running, hand-eye coordination, teamwork, endurance and grit.

For more information, contact Jill Reese at Jetsgirlslacrosse@gmail.com.

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