By Sania Choudhary
Pinewood is set to enter this year’s spring lacrosse season with a new girls lacrosse team, created and led by junior Drew Mahlmeister.
Mahlmeister had played lacrosse up until her freshman year at Mountain View High School. People at Pinewood began asking her about lacrosse and wanted to learn how to play.
“So I thought, hey, lots of people seem interested in lacrosse and I would love to play on a school team, and since we do not have one, I could try and make one,” Mahlmeister said.
Last year, Mahlmeister broached the topic with athletics director Matt Stimson last year about starting a lacrosse team at Pinewood. To generate interest, she would bring her lacrosse sticks during lunch and let people play with them so they could experience the joy she found in the sport. At the beginning of this year, she got serious about starting the team. She got the names of some girls who would be interested in playing and returned to Stimson. After seeing that there was enough interest, Stimson and Mahlmeister worked together to get sticks and set up clinics so people could try out the sport before fully committing. Not everything went according to plan for her last year, as she did not have enough time to get everything done. However, most of the girls at the clinics seem interested in pursuing the sport this year, and things appear to be going as planned.
“I do not know if I can say I feel prepared, though, because I’ve never done this before, so I do not exactly know what kind of problems might pop up, but I’m sure they’ll be manageable,” Mahlmeister said.
Though the deadline to register as a school team has passed, the girls will enter the spring season as a club team. They will play lacrosse teams from local high schools in scrimmages throughout the season. However, it is possible for them to play as a school team next year if they sign up earlier.
“I admire [Mahlmeister’s] drive,” said team advisor Jaime Fields, who also teaches AP US Government.
As advisor, Fields helps run drills at the practices. Though she has not coached anything before, she played many sports growing up, including lacrosse. She comes from Maryland, a state that is known for lacrosse, she noted.
“[I look forward to] getting to know the girls and flexing my skills,” Fields said.
Junior Allyson Levy plans to play on the lacrosse team in the spring. Her favorite part of the team is meeting new people from different grades, and she is excited for all of them to progress individually and as a team throughout the season, she said.
“[Lacrosse] is not like any sport I have played before,” Levy said.
Through the clinics, Mahlmeister aims to teach the basic structure of the sport. Practices will be held between two to five times a week. The girls that are coming to the practices seem to love the sport, and Mahlmeister predicts that it will be a fun season, added the team’s captain and founder.