CLOVER — The Clover High School girls’ lacrosse team, still in its infancy after debuting last season, suffered a big loss to an elite North Carolina team at home Feb. 28.
Lady Blue Eagle coach Danielle John knows there are better days ahead for the Clover lacrosse program.
“We need a feeder program in order to reach the next level,” John said.
Though Marvin Ridge of Union County, N.C., a contender for the state championship this season, was a force from the outset.
But the Clover girls had their moments in the season opener.
Senior Lily Parker maneuvered her way with success on the offensive end, scoring both Clover goals in the process.
John said there are positive signs as the team moves forward.
“We have better numbers this year than our first year of fielding a lacrosse team, with seven to eight new participants contributing to the team,” John said.
“We should have the numbers next season to establish a jayvee team, which will help build the program to where it needs to be,” she said.
It didn’t take long for the second-year participant Senior Holly Parker to learn the fundamentals of a sport she knew nothing about before last season.
“Once I learned what to do on the field, I found out how much I enjoyed the sport,” Parker said. “I love lacrosse.”
She encourages young athletes in the Clover School District to consider becoming a lacrosse participant.
“It doesn’t take long to learn what the sport is all about,” Parker said.
With high school lacrosse a relatively new sport in this region of the country, there are only three teams in the area.
John said the Clover High lacrosse team is “competitive with Nation Ford. Fort Mill is another level.”
In an effort to tap into the potential for girls’ and boys’ lacrosse at Clover, athletic director Carroll Hester conducted a feasibility study last year, before school board approval of the new sport.
The study revealed 141 students (97 boys, 44 girls) in grades six to 11 expressed interest in competing in lacrosse
“We have kids who’ve never picked up a stick, showing up to play lacrosse,” John said.