Student’s initiative launches pilot lacrosse clinics during fall season

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Photo credit: Maia Alvarez

Students play a game where teams catch as many balls as they can in their nets. “It’s similar to basketball, it’s a similar look to soccer, so it’s not completely foreign to something that someone may have done before,” Lacrosse Coach Megan Toomey said. “It’s just a perfect spring sport for anyone that’s looking to do more athletics.”

By Maia Alvarez, Multimedia Editor

Seventh grader Posie Hexner put Archer’s motto of “ambitious and joyful” into practice by taking the initiative to start pilot lacrosse clinics during the fall season. With the goal of generating interest to work towards offering lacrosse as a competitive sport to athletes, students can now participate in the “fastest sport on two feet“.

Lacrosse is a team sport where players use netted sticks to carry, pass and shoot a ball into a goal to score points. Last year, Hexner, who has been playing the sport since third grade, inquired about starting lacrosse at Archer to Dean of Student Life, Equity and Inclusion Samantha Hazell-O’Brien and Head of School Elizabeth English. From the inquiry, she and English connected Archer to an outside-of-school lacrosse clinic to provide a place where Archer students and students from a variety of schools could practice the sport for two hours a week each weekend.

At the beginning of the new school year, Hexner reached out to Athletics Director Kim Smith to inquire about whether lacrosse could be offered as a sport. Partnering with the athletics department, Hexner and her mom communicated with Malborough school’s lacrosse team.

“One of the tenets of the [Archer] mission is that we inspire students to discover their passions and to realize their true potential,” Smith said. “And so, when we have multiple students that are passionate about a sport and we don’t offer it, it’s important for us to look at it and see where we can find space within our athletics programs to offer it.”

I’m so proud of the student-athletes who reached out and took the initiative to reach out and let me know how interested they were in starting lacrosse.”

— Athletics Director Kim Smith

The head lacrosse coach at Malborough school, Meghan Toomey, is the director of Fire Lacrosse, a local lacrosse club, and she and Hexner brought the program to campus in the form of after-school lacrosse clinics. Toomey worked alongside the varsity lacrosse coach at Culver City High School Emily Rodgers to teach the first clinic Sept. 22.

The clinics are non-competitive practices, so students can learn the foundational skills of the sport using the equipment supplied by the coaches. The seven attendees of the first clinic learned how to hold the sticks, run with sticks and throw across the field. The program will continue every Thursday in the fall season between 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the backfield.

“One of Meghan’s [and my] goals is to really make the clinics fun and an enjoyable experience,” Rodgers said. “And so, [the student-athletes are] like, ‘hey, I’m going to bring a friend next time because I know that they’re going to enjoy it’ and then their friend is going to bring another friend, and that’s really how you grow it.”

Claire Doyle ('26), Elle Weingarten ('26), and Eliza Tiles ('23) practice sticking, a drill to practice catching the ball within the net of the stick. Doyle said as many of her friends don't know what lacrosse is, she is excited for them and the greater community to discover the sport. "When I say I play lacrosse, they're like, What even is that? What is lacrosse?" Doyle said. "For more people to know about it, and even if Archer doesn't play competitively, just that opportunity to know what it is will get a lot of people wanting to go to clubs and wanting to learn more about the sport."
Claire Doyle (’26), Elle Weingarten (’26) and Eliza Tiles (’23) practice sticking, a drill to practice catching the ball within the net of the stick. Doyle said as many of her friends don’t know what lacrosse is, she is excited for them and the greater community to discover the sport. (Photo credit: Maia Alvarez)

As lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports in North America, Claire Doyle said she is excited to have her club coach bring this team sport to the community.

“Lacrosse is really a team sport, and it needs a lot of connection,” Doyle said. “The Archer community has that, and we’re able, as Archer students, to work together very well, which directly correlates with playing a team sport, especially lacrosse.”

Toomey said the experienced members at the clinic helped created a welcoming and friendly environment, and as many are club members at Fire Lacrosse, they motivated the new members to continue trying the sport.

“There was a lot of teamwork happening, although it’s not necessarily a team yet. That’s really promising for the future of Archer lacrosse,” Toomey said. “If it was just like that on our first day of being on campus, that’s just only going to grow and build with having a team and being competitive.”

Due to the abundance of multi-sport athletes who cannot participate in lacrosse during the fall season, the athletics department is looking into offering additional opportunities to participate in lacrosse in the spring season. Hexner said the community’s supportive environment allows the clinics to be pressure free and full of fun.

“Just try it because learning a new sport, you never know if you’re going to fall in love with it,” Hexner said. “For lacrosse, I mentioned it as a joke walking home from third grade…I was doing basketball and soccer. ‘You [Mom] have to sign me up for lacrosse now,’ — I said it as a joke, and it turned into this. So just go for it. Because nothing’s at stake.”