The addition of lacrosse adds new challenges for both women’s and men’s teams


Jess Canaley

TEAM WORK: Mark Allen, varsity lacrosse player and senior, clears the ball out during a drill at practice. The team practices game-like scenarios to sharpen their skills on the field come competition.

Kelly Truax, Reporter

Last year, the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) made the decision to change men’s and women’s lacrosse teams to school-sponsored sports. Along with this addition, there come several changes for both the athletes and coaches.

Jack Hettiger, Head Coach of the women’s lacrosse team, said 30 new athletes joined this year’s team. Hettiger said he believes the sudden increase is a result of the sport becoming school-sponsored which has lead to active recruitment by other members.

“Two things have happened. Number one, the change of coming into a school-sponsored sport brought more awareness to the team and the sport. Then, number two, directly proportional to our players going out and welcoming new girls to our program, I think our girls have been very active trying to get more girls to join the team,” Mr. Hettiger said.

Kate Hettiger, lacrosse player and senior, said there are many benefits to the change.

Kate said, “It’s really cool to be recognized by the school because I feel like now, on the announcements, we get to be a part of the varsity status. There are also the other perks like how we get to use the weight room, we get to use the buses, which I’ve always thought was so much fun getting to hang out with the tea

m in a setting like that. Just being a part of the school and getting to be recognized by everyone here is a lot of fun.”

Kate said the team has been able to transition into the new routine smoothly but may face challenges later in the season.
“(The transition) has all been good. I think it will be a little bit more different once we get into the actual season because we will be staying after school, bus rides and stuff and we’ve never done that before. Aside from that, we try to make it as similar as possible to the last few years,” Kate said.

Mr. Hettiger said he has not had to alter his coaching style due to the change, but he will have to figure out how to adapt to a larger group of athletes and hold them to a slightly higher standard regarding representation.

“It’s the same expectations as we’ve always had— the difference is that we have to be aware that we now represent Carmel High School. Before we were representing Carmel, now, we are representing Carmel and Carmel High School,” Mr. Hettiger said.

Jack Meachum, Head Coach of the men’s lacrosse team, has not only been adjusting to the changes but is also in his first season coaching at CHS. Like Kate, Meachum also said there are many benefits to the sport becoming school-sponsored.

“We get the recognition for the guys that they deserve. Whether that’s with the lettering or the academic scholar pieces that they get rewarded and recognized for, I think all of that, it sounds minor, but it’s a big deal in the eyes and respect of their peers and that’s important,” Meachum said.

Meachum said when transitioning the team to the new routine, it’s important to keep high standards for the athletes.

“I think the biggest thing is that you just go in with that (high) expectation; you set a high bar, high standard and high performing students like this, they want to meet that expectation. We’ve done a great job with this, I haven’t been let down by the effort at all,” Meachum said.

Boxi Gong, lacrosse player and junior, said he thinks the change will bring a stronger fan basis to the games because more people have become aware of the sport. Gong also said there will be more expectations for the players of the team and that they need to build up the team chemistry.
Gong said via email, “I feel like since it’s actually a school sport now, the games mean more and (we) are actually representing the school and there (is) more on the line.”