STA supports lacrosse, MSHSAA does not
May 6, 2014
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story by Lindsey Valdiviez photos by Anna Kropf
Soccer is a MSHSAA sanctioned sport. Golf is a MSHSAA sanctioned sport. Swimming and Diving is a MSHSAA sanctioned sport. Every sport at St. Teresa’s is MSHSAA sanctioned but Lacrosse. When Lacrosse was added to STA’s lineup of sports in 2009, Notre Dame de Sion High School was the only other school on the Missouri side of the Kansas City Metro Area that had a lacrosse team. According to athletic director Mark Hough, STA intended for a lacrosse team to not only give athletes another option, but to also promote the sport in Missouri.
“When we took it on four years ago the idea was to help the girls here get better, but also bring in more Missouri teams,” Hough said. “Just so they can have a championship like anybody else.”
Due to the fact that benchmark of 70 schools with lacrosse teams has not been met in the state of Missouri, lacrosse is not a MSHSAA sanctioned sport. As a result, there has never been an official State Championship tournament or corresponding preliminary tournaments.
Junior lacrosse captain Sydney Edmonds, who plays Tennis in the fall and Lacrosse in the spring, feels that there is more pressure to do well in post-season tournaments for tennis than in lacrosse.
“I think the whole buildup of trying to go to districts or sectionals is more of a big deal in tennis because of the MSHSAA thing,” Edmonds said. “But with lacrosse we just have a city tournament, it doesn’t feel like as big of a deal because it’s just another tournament.”
According to Edmonds, she would prefer if lacrosse were MSHSAA sanctioned.
“I wish it was a MSHSAA sport because that would give us more credit and make it more of a ‘sport’ because I think lacrosse is kind of overlooked in the state.”
However, at the end of this season Ursuline Academy athletic director Jen Brooks and other Lacrosse enthusiasts in the St. Louis and KC areas will spearhead an unofficial state wide Lacrosse championship. But in order to have a state championship, city championship tournaments must be held in the corresponding cities. STA has hosted the City Championships for the past two years and is hosting the JV championships this year.
“Our coaches are very active in the lacrosse community here in town,” Hough said. “As a school we are supportive of lacrosse being a MSHSAA sanctioned sport, so we are trying to do things to promote lacrosse here in Kansas City and get it on board.”
Blue Valley High School will host the Varsity City Championship May 11.
Edmonds looks forward to the tournament not only for her team, but also for the reputation of lacrosse throughout the state.
“I’m really excited because this is the first year they’re doing the tournament this way and because it will be a lot better competition,” Edmonds said. “It will be easier to see who are the best teams. I definitely think we could be one of the top teams in the state, we just need to have the right mindset going into it.”
As of Apr. 29, the St. Teresa’s Academy Lacrosse team is ranked third in the Kansas City Metro Girls Lacrosse Association. With a 7-1 record for the season, the lacrosse Stars will look for first or second place finish in the Kansas City Metro Girls High School Lacrosse Championships in order to advance to the next round of the unofficial state tournament.
Hough says that backing lacrosse as a school and as a city will only promote the sport in Missouri, and eventually help reach the benchmark to become MSHSAA sanctioned.
“Lacrosse is still new enough where schools are still picking it up,” Hough said. “Hopefully by having this playoff at the end of the season that will get [schools and teams] around to joining on the MSHSAA side.”
The Lacrosse Stars will take on the Sion Storm at home next Tuesday.