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At Center Grove High School, there is a new sport that is growing rapidly — Lacrosse.

Although it’s not a very well-known sport in the state of Indiana, students at Center Grove are getting their heads in the game, and they want other schools to join them. Lacrosse is currently considered a club sport since there are only 412 schools in the state who have a team and that is not enough to have it sanctioned. States surrounding Indiana — Ohio, Michigan and Illinois — have had lacrosse sanctioned in their schools.

“We want to grow the sport,” says Michele Coffey, mom of two lacrosse players and a member of the lacrosse board, “We want to get as many sticks in as many hands as possible.”

The only other school in Johnson County that has a team is Whiteland Community High School.

Even when the sport isn’t sanctioned, the Center Grove teams have achieved major heights. Several high school players of both the Boys and Girls team reached Team All-State and the Girls U12 team came in second place overall in the Indiana Youth Lacrosse Association U12 Girls State Championship.

“The [Center Grove Girls U12] girls team showed where grit, teamwork and determination can lead,” says Jill Vaughn, current Girls U12 coach and member of the board. “Much of the work was done both on the sideline and behind the scenes to enable the team’s success.”

Head Coach Jason Arthur and members of the board recruit athletes by hosting call outs and free ‘try it’ nights, where students from all schools can come and try out the sport and equipment before deciding to commit. By inviting people in, the U12 Girls team has become nearly 20 girls strong.

“Lacrosse has taught me dedication and determination,” says Will Bauer, junior defense player on the Trojan Lacrosse Boys team. “I’ve also learned that hard work pays off. Hours and hours of work, in both blazing weather and freezing, really does pay off to show what you can do on the field.”

The traditional season for lacrosse is spring. Center Grove typically has six week seasons for the middle school and high school level that last from spring break to near the end of the semester. There are opportunities for players year-around to participate in, such as the winter league and multiple tryouts. There are also lots of opportunities for players and their families to become more bonded as a team, give back to the community and build life skills.

“Lacrosse has always helped me try new things and get out of my comfort zone, but I think the most impactful thing it has taught me is that it’s okay to not be perfect,” says Olivia Oliver, a senior on the Trojan Lacrosse Women’s Varsity team. “The thing is, if you mess up, you can’t just stop mid-game. If you make a mistake, you have to pick yourself up, figure out what you did wrong and make the next play better.”

If you are interested in learning more about lacrosse, visit centergrovelacrosse.com.

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