By Alexa Nealy
The newest sports team at our school has finally arrived. Lacrosse is considered the first actual contact sport to be played at University, and the team was officially approved by the IHSLA on November 7 after weeks of discussion and preparation. The coaches will be Steve Nealy, father of senior Cameron Nealy, and Steve Elliott, father of sophomore Rebecca Elliott. They have both coached lacrosse for quite a few years.
It’s been said that it was particularly difficult to create this team with enough members because many students who were interested in playing were concerned about their level of experience in the sport. However, this is no longer a concern for anyone involved. The goal for this year’s season is to maintain an established team and to have fun doing it. The idea of the team was first started by seniors Ed Henderson and Cameron Nealy. Ed has played lacrosse for around 5 years and is not concerned about the current level of experience. He says, “I am really looking forward to the upcoming lacrosse season. I think that our team could do really well with a little practice.” Because of its size and the amount of new players, it shares common qualities with other sports at UHS: anyone can play, and the team can be great with hard work and commitment.
It will also be coed. Not only will boys and girls practice together like in track and field and cross country, they will also compete side by side in games against other high schools.
Cameron, who has played for nearly 10 years and plans on playing in college, is most excited about the team. When asked why this year’s team is so important to him, Cameron said, “Last year was the first time in almost ten years that I wasn’t able to play lacrosse because there wasn’t a team for me to play for. This year is special because it’s my last chance not only to play lacrosse in high school, but to play a sport for University, something which I’ve never done.” The team took a lot of support from the community, and Cameron and Ed are so thankful for this opportunity. Cameron says, “I’d like to thank the Webster’s, Mr. and Mrs. Walls, Mr. Clark, Dr. Vesper and the coaches for their time and effort in creating the team and all of their support along the way.”
The team will practice on the soccer fields where home games will also take place, which the coaches encourage students to attend in support of the players. There are currently scheduled games with teams such as Harrison, Southport, Lawrence, Columbus East, and Scecina. The regular season games will take place in the spring, but there is also a separate indoor practice league taking place this winter.