News staff writer
June 10, 2006
Last spring a grant from U.S. Lacrosse purchased 24 sticks, 24 sets of eye-gear and a complete goalie setup for the Hood River’s inaugural middle school girls’ lacrosse team. About 20 girls made up the founding team and most had little or no former lacrosse experience.
A year later, as the team’s second season comes to a close, the Hood River girls have already established themselves as a growing lacrosse powerhouse in the Portland League. The team, which is made up of girls from the Hood River Valley and White Salmon and coached by Sybil and Christina Nance, finished its season last weekend with the Lake Oswego Jamboree.
The mother-daughter coaching duo offered the following summary of the team’s great season:
“We want to thank the community of Hood River for supporting girls’ youth lacrosse. Last year we had 20 girls as our founding team. These girls returned this year with a few of their friends and a great group of sixth graders for an expanded team of 37 girls. As coaches, we want to thank the Port of Hood River for opening their fields to us: What a showcase location. So many parents have approached us about getting their girls involved next year, simply by seeing the team practice as they head to the river. The Hood River Port has hosted six visiting teams; all of them were fully impressed with our spectacular city.
“Our season finished on a high note at the Lake Oswego Jamboree. We had eight back-to-back games, split between our A and B teams. We finished the jamboree with four wins, one tie and three losses. As our amazing goalie ran from one field to the next, game after game, we knew the team had reached a new level of commitment and competition.
“Hood River girls are making a name for themselves in the Portland league, as we have moved very quickly into the top tier of teams, all of which have had programs for six or more years. Our A-team finished the season with only three losses, and our B-team had a .500 season, which was much improved over one-win season last year.
“As mother-daughter coaches, we know the importance of parent support and commitment, and we are grateful for the awesome families involved in this sport. There were so many times that we needed to lean on the parents to help out with tasks like lining our fields, communicating about car-pooling, organizing tournament registration and getting kids to the practices and games. Many of our girls play two or three sports in the spring, and it was a family effort to be that involved. We want to applaud and thank the parents and families involved in Hood River Youth Lacrosse, both boys’ and girls’, from elementary to the high school level.
“Lastly, we want to recognize the incredible Hood River Valley High School girls who took it upon themselves to start a team this year. They were undeterred by the late start and lack of a coach. Margaret Koenig, who helped coach the middle school girls last year, slid over to help the high school girls.
“Our program seems to be growing at light-speed, and we all look forward to developing the high school team next year, while maintaining the middle school program. There is also talk of starting an elementary team next year.
“We invite any women in the Hood River area who have played lacrosse, no matter how long ago, to think about joining us next year as we continue to develop girls’ lacrosse at all levels.”