The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

Lacrosse team among best in conference

March 24, 2017

“I think our strengths of the team is that we all share a common goal and aren't afraid to work hard for it. We have a lot of talented players on the team because they work their butts off. We know that nothing comes easily and we're not afraid to work for it”, says senior Maddi Hafner. Photo courtesy of Maddi Hafner.

Hockey, football, basketball; these are some of the popular sports that students turn up in crowds to watch. But one sport that doesn’t get enough attention is lacrosse.

The boys team is consistently among the best in the conference, and the girls team has been to the state tournament four years in a row.

For the girls team, the key to success is simple.

“We work hard and set high goals” senior Gina Jablonski said.

Players to watch out for are Maddi Hafner, Gina Jablonski, Olivia Konigson and Abby Hagberg. Three of the four of the stars play hockey in the winter.

Like any good team, the players do not take a break for the off season.

“We do wall ball and have sessions in the dome and weight room” Jablonski said.

A common source of concern with a lot of teams is when the star players are seniors and graduate. It is no different with the girls team.

“We lost a lot of good seniors last year but we have depth and younger players willing to work hard to fill in the gaps” Jablonski said.

One of the captains, Maddi Hafner is determined to go to the state tournament this season.

Our team is disciplined and we’re not afraid to face adversity. We practice outside regardless of the weather, which only makes us stronger.”

— Maddi Hafner

“Our team is disciplined and we’re not afraid to face adversity. We practice outside regardless of the weather, which only makes us stronger. We follow our team covenants: Do your best, Do what’s right, and Treat others the way you want to be treated”, senior Maddi Hafner said.

As for the boys team, the roster is not very different than last year.

“The lacrosse team this year has a lot of varsity experience since we graduated 4 seniors last year”  junior Luke Vandenberg said.

Last year, the boys lacrosse team had five all conference award winners, only one of which was a senior.

Senior Haden Bates is a key player and captain who is expected to lead the team to success this year.

“Expectations are high this year, we want the section title, but we’re playing for what comes after that. We have Bates, he’s the best defensive player we have on our team. He can run down the ball and score on goalies” Vandenberg said.

Mounds View is an old rival for Stillwater in an array of sports, and lacrosse is no different.

“My favorite memory from last year was when we beat Mounds View in OT, we shut them down on defensive and Corky came back from his injury to score the game winning goal” Vandenberg said.

The boys team takes the off season a step further than the girls by participating in a winter lacrosse league to stay sharp.

“The team has been grinding on and off the field this offseason. We crushed in our winter league and the boys have been hitting the weight room” Vandenberg said.

In past years, both boys and girls lacrosse teams have been among the best in the state, with a lot of star athletes. It looks like this year, nothing has changed.

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