Lady Titans Lacrosse: A Force to Be Reckoned With
Jun 08, 2016 11:36AM
● By Sarah Almond
By Sarah Almond | email@example.com
Holladay - Talk to any lacrosse coach around the Salt Lake Valley, and chances are they’ll tell you the sport is still fairly new to the area. This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s not growing fast in popularity.
In fact, when Olympus lacrosse coach Amy Erickson started playing in 2003 as a student at Skyline High School, there were so few kids interested in the sport that Highland, Olympus and Skyline had to combine programs just to have enough girls to form a 36-member team.
Two years later, there was such an influx of interest that the schools were able to separate into individual programs.
“I think lacrosse is growing so fast because it’s such a stimulating game,” Erickson said. “I think too, because it’s not a sanctioned sport and we don’t cut girls from our program, that’s a huge draw. It’s a great fast-paced sport for people who may not be the typical athletic star, but still want to have an in to an athletic family.”
And for the 40 members of this year’s Lady Titans lacrosse team, that’s exactly what their group is: a family.
“Our girls get along really well, but it is something we’ve had to work on,” Erickson said. “When I took this position, I think that was definitely one thing that the people interviewing me really wanted to see, was a more inclusive team.”
While the group ended their 2016 season on a high, winning note, Erickson admits that it took work and dedication from everyone involved to get to this point.
“At the beginning of the season it was a little rough start trying to figure how to combine my coaching philosophy with what they’ve been used to,” Erickson said. “But I think in the end our biggest strength was our ability to work strong as a team.”
This was the driving goal behind Erickson’s coaching strategy, and she feels confident that the team ended the season as a united, supportive group.
“They work really well together on and off the field,” Erickson said. “I think they feel comfortable enough to go to one another and confide in one another and that’s huge for a young program. There are teams that definitely don’t have that ability, so we are really lucky in that regard.”
Though this is Erickson’s first year as head coach for Olympus, she had five years as the head coach at Skyline High School and two years at Bingham High School. With over a decade of playing and coaching under her belt, Erickson was prepared and excited to take on the leading coaching position at Olympus, a school notorious for athletic students.
“Olympus has always had a good talent pool,” Erickson said. “I was excited to get the chance to further build the team and create a group that had several strong, outstanding players. I tried hard to encourage the girls to realize that every girl is on the team for a reason, and that has really helped the girls build trust in one another.”
With a schedule loaded with challenging games, the Lady Titans had plenty of opportunities to practice building the trust and relationships needed to build a successful team.
“We are at the top of our bracket,” Erickson said. “I think we played some teams who weren’t expecting as great of a competition level as what we gave them.”
Now that the 2016 season is over, Erickson is having a chance to reflect on what worked for the team and what she can alter to be more successful in the years to come.
“We’ve worked really hard to come together and work as a coach and a team,” Erickson said. “And I think that because we did work so hard to build that this year, there will be a lot of success next year and we can continue to build off of that.”
Though the team is graduating eight seniors, Erickson is confident in her talented group of underclassmen and is looking forward to watching the Lady Titans play another successful, inspiring season in 2017.