Local lacrosse players honored

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:51 PM

Six Grand Haven varsity girls lacrosse team members recently earned spots on the Michigan Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’s all-state team.

Claire Reenders, Savannah Albright, Hillary Land, Casey Davis, Courtney Hylok and Stephanie Szymas were all named to the Division 1 all-state honorable mention squad.

In addition, the Buccaneers’ Trevor McNamara was named a third-team all-state attack on the boys’ Division 1 team.

Both the Buccaneers’ boys and girls varsity lacrosse teams turned in stellar seasons this spring.


Thanks to a grant from the Eugene Rothi Memorial Athletic Endowment Fund at the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, girls’ lacrosse starter packages found their way into the hands of girls who participated in the Buccaneer Lacrosse Camp last month.

Grand Haven girls varsity coach Kim Vincent said she was grateful to the committee for awarding the grant, which helped offset the cost of 35 starter sets, which include a lacrosse stick, goggles, mouth guard and a lacrosse ball.

“Lacrosse is a growing sport and it’s new to many families,” Vincent said. “We don’t want to leave anyone behind and this grant from the endowment fund helps us in our efforts to remove a good portion of the financial barriers for families to get their daughters started in a new sport.”

Vincent’s goal for the project, named Sticks Up For Lacrosse, is to give more girls in the community the opportunity to experience sport at earlier ages. Having their own sticks gives girls one more healthy activity they can do at home this summer.

“I don’t think kids can have too many balls, bats, rackets and sticks to play with in their downtime,” she said. “As long as they get outside and play sports, they’re learning the value of having fun while they also are learning to master a skill at their own pace. There are so many life lessons in this that kids don’t even know they’re getting.”

The idea to provide starter lacrosse packages came to Vincent when she was looking at ideas for making lacrosse a more available and more affordable option for families.

“It’s always been our goal to provide the opportunity to play lacrosse to every kid who wants to give it a try. We never like to turn kids away because their families can’t afford it, and this grant will make a difference,” Vincent said.

 Lacrosse skills complement and cross over to other sports; however, the use of the stick to catch and throw is unique to lacrosse, Vincent said.

“In lacrosse, we love to see multi-sport athletes, though in many cases, it’s not until they come to high school that they have an opportunity to use a lacrosse stick,” she said. “It can put them at a disadvantage if they burn out in their other sports and want to make a switch. The grant supports us in our commitment to get sticks into their hands at younger ages, and this year our camps include sessions for kids entering grades 2 to 12.”

Current athletes and graduates from Grand Haven High School’s varsity lacrosse team coach all Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority girls lacrosse programs, under the direction of Vincent.

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