With a stick in hand, sophomore Riley Lettow steps onto the turf field with her lacrosse teammates for the final game of the tournament. Sweat drips from her forehead as she sets up on the line with three other offensive players. The referee’s hand goes up and the moments before the starting whistle is blown are full of intense focus from the other athletes ready to fight for the ball and take it to the goal. The sound echoes through the park and the game begins as the girls play the final game with everything left in them.
“Lacrosse is a great sport to be in because there is a lot of team spirit and meeting new people. It is a fun fast pace sport and can be a good challenge,” said Lettow.
Lacrosse, a sport originating back to Native American culture, is the fastest growing sport in the country with a staggering 1.6 million of America’s population now participating. Compared to the East and West coasts, Texas (along with other midwestern states) do not tend to have a high popularity. However, more people are joining the local Katy team, The Lady Katy Cavaliers, with a majority of newcomers coming from Tompkins.
“I heard about lacrosse through a friend that plays in Minnesota, which is where I’m from. She told me I should try it so I found the Katy Cavaliers,” said Lettow.
The Lady Katy Cavaliers have an impressive background. With an athletic group of girls, they won district championships and also have been state runner-up two years in a row. Lettow had played softball, gymnastics and cheer before joining the team. The team that dominated Division Two in previous years has been moved up to Division One and is preparing for the challenging season ahead. Returning junior player Jodi Morawiec is ready to push herself to play against some of the best teams in the state.
“We have two seasons, a tournament season where we have three or four tournaments throughout a four-month period, then we have game season where sometimes we have two games a week. That season will lead us into city and state championships,” said Morawiec.
Lacrosse is an activity that resembles a combination of hockey, soccer and basketball. The aggressive nature of the game comes from hockey, while the positions are fairly similar to soccer. Positions include offense, midfield and defense. There is a lot of technique involved in lacrosse due to the amount of rules the player needs to comprehend. Also, agility and speed are crucial aspects to the game that need to be practiced frequently. As lacrosse continues to grow across the country, the Katy Lady Cavaliers are pushing themselves and the new players to have another successful season.
“There are a lot of new players like me on the team, but the players with a lot of experience that have won games and know what it takes to win, really push us and it helps us grow and learn the sport a lot,” said Lettow.