Seniors cement their legacy for one last season

Becky Hoving, Staff Writer

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You’ve heard it countless times: ‘My team is my family.’ But for the Staples varsity girls’ lacrosse team, this mantra rings true, and rightfully so.

“A lot of us have played together since fourth and fifth grade,” Amelia Heisler ’15 said. “It’s awesome playing with the same group of girls for such a long time. They are like my second family.”

Heisler is not the only one of the 10 graduating varsity lacrosse players who feels this way. In fact, ask any of them and the feeling is mutual. “It’s a privilege playing with such a large group that has stuck together since we were underclassmen,” Paige Murray ’15, who will be attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for lacrosse, said. “We’ve all grown so much since freshman year and we all have been able to learn how each and every one of us plays on the field.”

And this growing, learning and sticking together has paid off in big ways. Now, at the start of their final season as Wreckers, all 10 girls take to the field, proudly donning their white Staples jerseys and signature blue hair ribbons. They are able to read each other like they can read the coverage across Ginny Parker field. “We each have our specialties and, with that being said, our team keeps getting stronger because we know what works and what doesn’t,” Murray said. “We have learned how to improve each other’s skills individually and as a whole to make us better as a team.”

But it’s not just the 10 seniors exclusively who share such a bond- everyone on the team feels it, too. To an underclassman on the team, it’s easy to see how coming into this kind of environment could be intimidating, but this is not the case. Colleen Bannon ’17 was welcomed onto the varsity team her freshman year, and immediately felt at home despite the number of upperclassmen. “They made me feel like I was important and part of the team right away,” Bannon said. “And not only do we have good chemistry on the field, but we are all close off the field, too.”

Even the girls’ coach, Pete Najarian, agrees that the team has great chemistry and extols its benefits on the field. “Chemistry absolutely benefits the team,” Pete Najarian said. Like in most sports, familiarity and friendship on the field goes a very long way in lacrosse.”

While Bannon and other underclassmen may be excited to advance further into their high school careers this season, the seniors are finding their final season bitter-sweet.

“It’s definitely surreal that this is our last year together, and it’s going to be hard to leave people who have been like my family for the past four years,” Heisler said.

Another senior, Nicki Najarian ’15, who is playing for Denison University next season, shared similar remarks on this final season. “There are five of us going on to play in college next year, so that is definitely an accomplishment for us, but it’s going to be very hard to move onto a different team,” she said. “We have all become so close; it’s going to be hard to leave my best friends. I really can’t imagine playing with any other group of girls.”

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