Lax to the max

Girls lacrosse team earns varsity status after only one year


Then freshman Paige Mayer plays defense against a Lawrence North player on March 21, 2022. The girls played as a junior varsity team last year, but this year, they will compete at the varsity level.

Starting this spring, girls lacrosse will be a varsity sport. Usually, the Indiana Girls Lacrosse Association, also known as the INGLA, requires the team be classified as junior varsity for two years before they could achieve varsity status. 

Due to the large number of players involved last year, INGLA decided that SHS was able to earn this title a year earlier than expected. Last season, the team won four games, which was surprising for such a new team, according to head coach and science teacher Rachel Frantz. Now that they have achieved varsity status, there will be two teams that students can play on, JV and varsity.

During her first year of teaching, Frantz started the process of starting a girls lacrosse team at SHS to share the love she has for it. One of the benefits of creating a team with a new sport is that everyone begins with similar knowledge.

“Lacrosse, since it’s new, everyone is on the same playing field,” Frantz said. “I think it’s a really unique opportunity for non-athletes, people who haven’t played before, to join and still feel like they can see as much growth in themselves as their teammates do.”

Along with creating a new experience for female athletes, Frantz opened the team to students who identify as non-binary. SHS students are not the only ones who will be on the team. Girls and non-binary students from Perry Meridian who are interested in playing are also welcome to join the team. 

Juniors Kaia Heaton and Hailee Schultz were both on the team last season and were excited to hear of the varsity title. The reason behind Schultz’s excitement was the fact that the new varsity status allows for more athletes to further their lacrosse career after high school. For Heaton, the new connections she will make and adjusted structure are what stuck out..

“I’m looking forward to all the new people that are coming out to try lacrosse and seeing how we work together in two separate teams,” Heaton said.

A major difference between this upcoming season and last season are the game schedules. Since many schools only have JV teams, there will be days where the varsity and JV games are not played consecutively. However, both teams’ schedules will be available at the Southport Athletics website.

In the off season, the athletes had a few practices. Frantz decided to give them time to rest before the season begins because she knows how overwhelming sports can become for people. 

Frantz hopes that this season will bring more attention to the sport and maybe even inspire other schools, such as Perry Meridian, to start their own programs. There is also hope for winning, but the main focus is for athletes to grow along with their teammates. 

“I would love to at least win a couple games, but obviously winning isn’t everything,” Frantz said. “I would love to see all of our athletes see growth in themself and see growth in their friends.”