Female lacrosse goaltender standing on a lacrosse field
Aniyah Jones is headed to Delaware State University to play lacrosse (photo by Amy Payne)

Brownsburg Grad’s Lacrosse Success Continues

Brownsburg High School senior Aniyah Jones will head to Delaware State University this fall on a scholarship for their Division I lacrosse team.

The athletic, humble and friendly athlete found the sport in the third grade and hasn’t looked back.

“I’ve always played basketball and I was on a rec team for Brownsburg,” she said. “We didn’t win a single game that year. My coach, Jason Koles, was starting the Brownsburg lacrosse team at the time and he invited us to give it a try.”

What is Lacrosse?

It’s a sport not many people know, but lacrosse is quickly growing in popularity and spreading throughout Hendricks County and beyond. Still considered a club, lacrosse is on the brink of becoming a sanctioned sport through the Indiana High School Athletic Association.

The object of the game is to shoot the solid rubber ball into the opponent’s goal. The sticks can be used to catch, carry and pass the ball. The team with the most points wins.

What Aniyah found so many years ago was a competitive, action-packed game that pushed her to work toward goals and accomplish them.

“I think it’s interactive and fun to watch,” she said. “Every year I’d set a goal for myself and when I achieve that, I pat myself on the back and then ask, ‘What’s next?’”

She continues setting those personal goals and boasts 620 career saves and counting as a goalie, with a save average of 75%, and the team as a whole has been successful. They’re currently ranked third in the Indiana Girls Lacrosse Association conference, and the lacrosse community has noticed both the team and Aniyah.

“Even with the way Brownsburg lacrosse has grown, everyone knows her,” said Alexis Jones, Aniyah’s mother. “She has a good attitude; she’s a team player and humble. I’m super proud of her.”

Female lacrosse goalie in front of the net
Aliyah Jones mines the goal at Brownsburg High School (photo by Amy Payne)

Today, Alexis said Aniyah is the number-one goalie in the state of Indiana. It’s one of the many reasons she was sought after in her senior year, and is one of very few to be accepted to a Division I college from Brownsburg lacrosse.

She plans to major in sports management and hopes to play lacrosse for as long as she can. After all, as the world takes notice, her options will continue to expand and she is ready to take in every opportunity.

“Since middle school I’ve thought I want to play lacrosse for as long as possible,” Aniyah said. “There is a USA team, overseas opportunities, and I’ve thought about coaching.”

She’s getting a taste of coaching already. As a former midfielder and current goalie, her experience has led to helping younger players still learning the game. It’s the mentoring aspect she enjoys most.

“I think it’s an honor to have influence,” she said. “I have such a passion for this sport. I’m a highly skilled lacrosse player and I know a lot about the sport. I was a midfielder and if my freshmen midfielders have questions, I want to help them. If I don’t have the answer, I’ll find it.”

In fact, she expects the relationships she’s formed over the years with coaches all over the state and fellow teammates will be lifelong.

“Some of my best friends are on the team,” she said. “I’m grateful to have built those relationships and I love them with my whole heart.”

It’s those relationships that coach Jason Koles could see happening back in 2014, as the team was being built.

The team regularly participates in community activities and the athletes know they are supported, whether they are involved in multiple sports or have another extracurricular activity they love.

Coaches and staff want all participants to have the best of both worlds.

“We really try to make our organization compatible with what the athletes are doing,” Koles said. “In the beginning it was hard to find people who knew the game, and it was important to get connected with those already involved. When there’s only one lacrosse team in town and the parents are just learning the sport too, it’s like we’re all learning at the same time and there’s an incredible level of excitement. It was a different environment than you might see in other team sports.”

Perhaps it’s the community atmosphere the keeps lacrosse athletes returning year after year.

Aniyah certainly has found her passion, and she’s seen time and time again how the audience responds.

Female lacrosse goalie with helmet on

“I think the play itself makes people want to come out,” she said. “If they give it a try, they would unexpectedly have a lot of fun. I’d recommend lacrosse to literally anyone.”

Her friends on the football team and in other sports have come out to a game, and like most, they’re fascinated by the competitiveness and excitement on the field.

Brownsburg Lacrosse Keeps Growing>

“The group of girls that Brownsburg has right now is phenomenal,” Alexis said. “We do the parades every year and get involved in the community as a club sport. I think it speaks to the people involved and the program itself.”

Like the official sanctioning of lacrosse for high schools across the state, Aniyah’s future at Delaware State University is certainly something to keep track of.

With fierce determination and a love for the game, the sky is the limit.

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