by Matt Wright
It takes time to build something successful, but as the second season for Lakeland Lacrosse ended on May 1st, the Lions team seemed proud of their efforts on the field. Despite being a new program and just a hand full of wins so far, the players’ dedication and hard work paid off this year with a notable improvement in their overall skills and teamwork according to Prep Head Coach James Guerin.
“The program’s success reflects the character and values of the student athletes in Lakeland. Despite facing some unique challenges, including the growing footprint of the high school, the team continued to compete at a high level, consistently improving every week,” Coach Guerin said.
Lakeland Lacrosse faced tough competition this past season against well-established programs that have been around for decades. Lacrosse is only played by certain schools in Shelby County, so starting a new program can be tough since every game is against an established program. However, Coach Guerin said the Lion’s passion for the sport, their hand/eye coordination, and athleticism made up for their lack of experience playing established schools.
“The players at both the middle school and high school levels showed tremendous effort and dedication, resulting in a strong defense and offense towards the end of the season. It’s clear that many of the players developed a passion for the sport, and the team is optimistic about the future of lacrosse in Lakeland,” he said.
The Lacrosse program already has good support from school and administration, as well as the parents and volunteers. “Their continued support has made a big, positive impact on the lacrosse community,” Coach Guerin said.
Keith Acton, a Lakeland School Board member said the Lacrosse program certainly has the support of the schools and they will continue to provide support to help the program be successful. “In January, the TSSAA sanctioned lacrosse as an official high school sport for boys and girls beginning in the 2024-2025 season,” Mr. Acton said. “I look forward to seeing the sport grow in the Lakeland School System and round out our compliment of sports that the school offers. Coach Jimmy and our current lacrosse teams are building a great foundation for our future,” he said.
Lakeland Prep Lacrosse has come a long way in just two seasons, and with the continued support of the community, the Lions should have a promising program on hand.
A Lakeland Prep Lacrosse camp is being planned for the summer and coaches said inexperienced players are invited to participate to learn about the sport. Camp details should be released in the coming weeks.