Fort Mill Times

Fort Mill lacrosse players have Atlanta finale

Fort Mill's Rachel Weber tries to control the ball during the Jackets' final home game against Butler last Thursday.
Fort Mill's Rachel Weber tries to control the ball during the Jackets' final home game against Butler last Thursday.

The Fort Mill high school-level girls lacrosse club played its final home game of the season last Thursday, dropping a hard-fought game to Butler 12-9.

Mady Katz and Marina Weber led the Jackets in scoring with three goals each in the match - one that many coaches and players viewed as a measuring stick of the progress the team has made in only its second season.

"When you have your last game, you always wish that it was how they started the season," said Head Coach Minka Taylor. "It shows their growth throughout the season, and we've definitely seen a lot of growth."

As lacrosse continues to grow and gather attention across South Carolina, Fort Mill began to establish itself as a legitimate state contender this season, as both the boys and girls teams made the playoffs.

The boys won their region for the first time in club history and hosted an opening round playoff game.

The boys dropped the match, 10-9, to Camden Military Academy, and the girls lost to Wando, 24-7.

Despite the losses, many of the players were encouraged by the way the teams grew this year.

"I think we did phenomenal. We're amazing now," Katz said about her team's development since the beginning of the season. "Hopefully, we'll keep improving a lot and beat all the teams we came close to this year. I know everybody will improve over the summer, and next year we'll have a great team."

Both teams will make one more appearance this season, taking part in the Bagataway lacrosse tournament outside Atlanta, May 16-17.

Individually, the teams enjoyed some major accomplishments as well.

Katz, a freshman, was named to the All-State second team.

"Mady is the driving force on our team. She's a leader -- all the girls look up to her, and it's nice to see her recognized for it," Taylor said.

Katz led the team in scoring this year and said she hopes to keep improving as the team continues to grow throughout her high school career.

"I hope this means good things will happen. I'll just keep doing camps and I may do a select team during the summer," Katz said.

Lane led boys

On the boys' side, defender Justen Lane racked up quite a few honors himself.

He was named to the South Carolina all-state team and chosen as South Carolina Defender of The Year. He was also named to the high school All-American team, the first lacrosse player from York County ever to receive that honor.

Last month, Lane, a senior at Nation Ford High School, signed a national letter of intent to play lacrosse at Queens College in Charlotte.

Since lacrosse was officially sanctioned by the South Carolina High School League last October, schools across the state are considering whether or not to adopt lacrosse as an official high school sport for next year.

The Fort Mill Lacrosse Club is hoping to hear by the start of the next school year if either of the local high schools will add lacrosse as an athletic program, according to Janet Alford, president of the club.

"We've submitted proposals and budgets. The decision is up to the school board so we're just waiting to see what they decide," Alford said. "We've received positive feedback... we're encouraged by some of the conversations we have had."