Margaux Newby, Reporter
After Christmas break the girls lacrosse team began their season and the team has competed in 15 games so far this season against Santa Fe Prep, Pueblo West, Rio Rancho, Aspen, Roaring Fork, Telluride, Grand Junction, Summit County, Montrose, Telluride again, Fruita, Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Palmer, and Palmer Ridge. The team won six out of those 15 games.
The team is led by Natalie Mitchell in addition to being supported by the assistant coach, Liz Dillman, an E.L.L teacher at DHS. Under this leadership, they finished the season ranking 30th out of 85 Colorado teams.
Lacrosse is currently the fastest growing sport in America, as well as the fastest growing high school sport. “Lacrosse is different because it’s not as popular in this area of the states,” said Coach Natalie Mitchell.
“Girls lacrosse is a very traditional sport but it is still very new age, if that makes sense,” said Sr. Kayla Willis. Assistant Coach, Liz Dillman has been playing lacrosse since the late 80s when she was in 9th grade. Dillman has a love for the sport and has enjoyed working with Coach Natalie Mitchell for the first time.
“[She] is an excellent athlete and teacher of the sport,” said Dillman. She became the assistant coach because she wanted to be involved in the more healthy, active, and fun side of DHS.
“Classes are central to my work here, of course, but it is so excellent to also be able to play with these fabulous young ladies,” said Dillman, “I love helping them enjoy lacrosse and being part of our team.” On top of this, many of the teammates think that the girls lacrosse team is different from other team sports at DHS because they are closer than most.
“We love our time during our season and I personally value it for my friendships on the team,” said So. Tori Raybourn, “I feel like the team has it’s clicks but we can all really pull together and be a great team on the field.”
Mitchell has has seen the team improve a lot so far this season because they are now able to practice outside. “I like coaching lacrosse because I love the sport and sharing it with other people,” said Mitchell, “it is so cool to help introduce lacrosse to this area.”
Mitchell decided to be the girls lacrosse coach because she saw a need for it and likes being a positive influence on the girls. “I love showing people how fun it is to compete [and] we have such a wide range of experience,” said Mitchell.
“Our stick skills and fitness have improved– the girls can run for about an hour and a half now and are making the majority of their catches and throws with accuracy,” said Dillman, “it’s really inspiring!”
“We have our ups and downs but at the end of the day we are all a team and have to function as one group in order to succeed,” said Willis. In addition to having played football and hockey, Willis has been playing lacrosse since her sophomore year.
“I had never even picked up a lacrosse stick but the coaches and the team helped me and it was very simple to learn,” said Willis, “It offers the fun of being on an all girls team but the competition also seemingly reserved for boys sports,” said Willis.
“I love how aggressive I can be while I’m playing a girls sport,” said Raybourn, “it’s a great and fun way to stay in shape.” The girls on the team and the coaches love the sport and having such a strong and close team.