The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

School Adds Frosh/Soph Lacrosse Team

After accommodating nearly 40 players on the varsity team last year, the school lacrosse program will be expanding to include a frosh/soph team this spring season.

The lacrosse team began in spring of 2010 when a group of LAHS parents and Head Lacrosse Coach Greg Mengis teamed up to charter a lacrosse club, receive approval for the sport and raise $15,000. At its start, the varsity lacrosse team had 24 players.

At the time, Mengis also petitioned Athletic Director Kim Cave for a frosh/soph team. However, the obstacles of funding and space availability prevented this from happening, as the program lacked money for a frosh/soph coach and a field to practice on.

Since 2010, the number of players in the lacrosse program has grown to about 40, which has become an issue during practices, as there is not enough time to focus on every player. The coaches were forced to give more attention to experienced players to prepare them for games.

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“Usually, the coaches would work through…the first two lines of starting players before everyone else, so a lot of people ended up not being able to play,” defensive player sophomore Simon Leak said.

But in trying to compensate for the imbalance of practice and experience in favor of older players, the coaches attempted to have senior players help newer players, adversely affecting experienced players as well.

“We spent a lot of time working with the new kids so…the more experienced players [didn’t get] much practice,” right-wing attacker junior Riley Kahan said.

This school year, the school managed to overcome previous obstacles and finally approved Mengis’ earlier request. Additional funding from the district office provided a stipend for a frosh/soph coach, giving the team the monetary support it needed.

The Athletic Department was able to resolve the other issue of having nowhere to practice as well. In years past, the frosh/soph baseball team practiced on the same field that lacrosse did, which forestalled the formation of a frosh/soph lacrosse team, as there was no space for another sports team. But due to construction of the two-story building in the back of the school last year, frosh/soph baseball was moved back to the baseball field, which the school had upgraded to accommodate two teams instead of just one.

“Now baseball is only subject to the baseball area,” Cave said. “It created some more room for [lacrosse]…so we can actually have a frosh/soph and a varsity [lacrosse] team out there at the same time.

The resolving of these two problems—funding and space availability—cleared the way for the announcement of a frosh/soph lacrosse team in late September. It has since generated positive reactions from the school’s lacrosse community.

“The addition of a JV team is a lot better because a ton more kids will be able to play, a lot more kids will be able to come out [onto the field],” Simon said.

As a result of more playing time, Mengis and players alike hope that each player will be able to further improve his skills and thereby elevate the level of the lacrosse program as a whole.

“[The frosh/soph team] will definitely make the varsity better and it’ll kind of develop lacrosse here at this school because…the varsity kids will get more practice and then we’ll get to work with more basic stuff with developing players so they get more practice, too, and they get better,” Riley said.

Mengis also believes that the frosh/soph team will improve the lacrosse program, citing the expansion as an opportunity for lacrosse players to develop their skills and grow as leaders.

“It will open up more opportunities for more players to participate…[and] it will provide more games, as well as more leadership and growth opportunities for our younger players,” Mengis said. “The JV [frosh/soph] program will definitely help accelerate the growth the lacrosse program has seen over the past few years.”

The Athletic Department is currently looking for a coach for the new team.


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