HUNTSVILLE - To quote Shania Twain, “Lets go girls.”
Perhaps that could be the motto of a group of young women at Huntsville High School who have taken the initiative to form their own field lacrosse team.
The school already has a boys’ field lacrosse team, which played as an independent team with no formal league in the region to compete in, until last year when the team completed its first season of league play in the Muskoka Parry Sound League.
This year, it’s the girls’ turn to start the lacrosse ball rolling.
Teacher Kim Fairhall is the supervisor/coach of the girls’ team, although she readily admits she doesn’t know a great deal about the sport.
“Heavens no,” she said when asked if she knew the sport. “I never played the game, never. Senior student Emma Moore wanted to start a team for the high school. They went to athletics director Ross Clarke to find someone who would be willing to take this project on. They eventually approached me to help out and I said sure.”
Fairhall, who coaches the team along with Moore, said the team is a varsity squad, meaning there are no age or grade restrictions to join.
Girls’ field lacrosse is not a new sport in Huntsville, as the Huntsville and District Minor Lacrosse Association ran a similar program under the guidance of Jocelyn Knox for a few seasons.
Fairhall said some of the players have already played either field or box lacrosse before suiting up for the Hoyas.
Moore was away on a school trip and unavailable for comment.
The team began play about two weeks ago, but the Huntsville High School teacher said that plans for the program actually started last fall.
“We did practise a little bit back (in the fall) as more of way to get the girls interested in playing. Since then, we have had all the girls who were part of our fall program back out as well as some new players.
The new Hoyas team has 14 players for this year and has been practising weekly at Conroy Park. While there is no league yet for the team to play in, Fairhall said the school has been in touch with other schools that have girls’ teams about playing some exhibition games.
“There is a team in Orillia at a Catholic school we are hoping to play against soon, possibly in May. We want to bring about knowledge about the sport and give girls a chance to play the sport beyond (high school) at a university or college, as well as promote fitness and athleticism. And we also want them to have a good time really.”
Fairhall is getting to know the sport better. She took part in a coaching clinic a few weeks ago and said she is slowly garnering the basics of the game.
As far as the future, Fairhall said she isn’t sure if the Hoyas will ever have a league of their own to play in regularly.
“It would be great to, but that’s a big question. I put a call out to area high schools to see if any of them had started a program, so we will have to see if any of them emails me back. We would love to have someone to play against.”