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TC United Lacrosse Becomes a TCAPS Varsity Sport

Photo Courtesy: Brynn Turnquist

  As of this year, both Traverse City United boys and girls lacrosse teams have joined TCAPS athletics. This coming season both teams will stay combined with West and Central athletes, however, the boys team will split in the spring of 2025, making Central and West separate teams. Since the girls have a small number of players on their team they will not be splitting up teams quite as soon. This change in Traverse City lacrosse programs has been prompted by the consistent growth of interest in the sport over recent years, in hopes of continuing to increase involvement in lacrosse programs in Northern Michigan. 

  Although the shift in the program will most likely lead to an increase in popularity for lacrosse, many athletes on the boys’ team are worried about how the separation of teams will impact their games and tournaments. After being a combined sport for years, the first few seasons of splitting up the teams, after this coming spring, could see a difficult start. 

  “It will be cool to have a school rivalry in lacrosse now, but the teams [might not] be as good anymore which will suck for younger generations,” senior Caleb Lewandowski said. 

  This coming season, many of the boys have goals they hope to accomplish due to it being their last season combined. Sophomore Grady Ellis says he enjoys playing with the boys from Central and hopes they will have a great last season together.

  “We want to try and win regionals this year so we are going to be working really hard,” Ellis said. 

  Girls lacrosse, on the other hand, has just recently become offered in Traverse City and is currently focused on gaining attention and support from the community, and letting people know about the opportunities if they want to join. For many girls, the new program provided a way to participate in something they had always been intrigued by but had never had the outlet for. An example is freshman Summer Lewandowski, who has been on the team since it first started, and has been surrounded by lacrosse most of her life. 

  “My brothers always played [lacrosse] and then they started a girls’ team so I joined,” S. Lewandowski said. 

  Some athletes, such as Senior Ella Brisbois, even played on the boys’ team before girls’ lacrosse was available, and helped get the girls’ program up and running. Her goals for the rest of her lacrosse career mainly include getting more girls to try it out in hopes it will gain popularity. 

  Along with this aspect, team captain Senior Tatem Bottrell believes that “[TCAPS picking up girls lacrosse] is an amazing step in the right direction for women’s sports to be more noticed and funded,” and goes on to push the importance of growing the team.

  “It is a really good time to try it out because the program is so new that there are a lot of newer players and it is not intimidating since so many other girls are in the same position,” Bottrell said. 

  The goal is that girls’ lacrosse will start to see the same spike in interest that boys’ lacrosse saw years ago after they started. 

  Overall, the affiliation between TCAPS athletics and lacrosse programs in Traverse City could be a step in the right direction for both teams. Though there may be some challenges and setbacks to overcome, this change in the program could conceivably make lacrosse a more widespread, competitive and well-known sport so it remains available for generations to come. 

  “I just hope we can grow the sport to make sure it stays an option for kids interested,” said C. Lewandowski.

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Nola Raven
Nola Raven, Assistant EIC, Lead Page Designer
Nola Raven is a senior in high school and is in her second year of newspaper. She is taking this class because it provides good life skills and she enjoys writing stories and is interested in getting a journalism degree in the future. She is a reporter and page designer for the newspaper. In her free time she enjoys playing golf, skiing, reading and spending time with her friends and family.

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    Pat RavenNov 6, 2023 at 7:59 am

    I was excited to see the option got LaCross for girls. It’s a growing sport and fun to watch.