Opinion: Niles West Should Have a Lacrosse Team


By Sophia Lannoye, Staff Writer

When I was younger, I remember watching the 2015 Disney Channel Original Movie, Invisible Sister, and being inspired to play lacrosse in high school because one of the main characters was on the lacrosse team. However, my childhood dream of playing lacrosse was sadly crushed when I found out Niles West did not have a girls’ lacrosse team.

Many other High schools in the Central Suburban League have lacrosse teams including New Trier, Maine South, Glenbrook North, Evanston, Vernon Hills, Deerfield, and Highland Park. I think it’s time Lacrosse was not confined to private schools and Niles West introduced this sport to the athletic department.

According to History.com, Lacrosse is the oldest organized sport in North America, originating from the indigenous people of North America in the early 12th century. It was often played by hundreds of players between different Native American tribes lasting multiple days in order to settle disputes.

The sport was originally called “La Crosse,” meaning the stick, but was combined into one word over time. According to the Atlas of Popular Culture in the Northeastern United States, when the European colonists came to America, they heavily modified the game and formalized the rules in 1867, after which Lacrosse became a popular sport in northeastern elite schools in the US.

In Lacrosse, teams compete to get the rubber lacrosse ball into the net or goal using a lacrosse stick. To do so, players use the net of the stick to carry, catch, shoot, and pass the ball. The team that scores the most points by the end of the game wins. The game is pretty easy to follow and its rules would probably be simple to learn for beginners to the sport.

Since football isn’t very inclusive for girls to play, Lacrosse is a good alternative since it is played professionally by both men and women. Girls interested in playing on the football field get their few weeks to shine during Powderpuff, but to continue the fun, they can join Lacrosse.

Not only is Lacrosse inclusive of girls, but height doesn’t matter. In many sports such as basketball, swimming, track & field, and gymnastics, size makes a significant difference. In Lacrosse, speed is what makes or breaks a player- not their height. So for people who are disadvantaged at sports because of their size, Lacrosse is the perfect opportunity.

For off-season athletes, lacrosse can provide valuable training to stay in shape and improve skills such as coordination, reaction time, agility, and power which are important in a variety of sports. Lacrosse is nicknamed “The fastest game on two feet” and involves lots of running, improving athletes’ speed, and providing a good cardiovascular workout. Also, there are many benefits to being part of a team, such as improving social skills and leadership skills.

Lacrosse is overall a very exciting, fast-paced, and entertaining sport that lots of young girls would benefit from, especially myself. Niles West hosts many diverse clubs, but when it comes to sports, the school should consider expanding. Lacrosse would provide a new opportunity for students and would not only garner more interest among students to participate in the activity, but would improve school spirit because more students would be attending school sports events.