A passion to play LACROSSE | RecordCourier.com

A passion to play LACROSSE

Nearly one year has passed since Kat Wulstein and Ashley Edwards discovered they had a common interest in lacrosse.

Well, one thing led to another and in the fall the two Douglas High School seniors got the ball rolling on an idea that has led to the debut this week of the Douglas girls lacrosse club. And on Thursday the new team will get a chance to play at home for the first time Thursday when it hosts Galena in a 4 p.m. High Sierra Lacrosse League game at Gardnerville Elementary School.

"In the fall Kat said, 'Let's get a team started and I said, 'OK,'" Edwards said. "It wasn't as easy as we thought. There were a lot more logistics involved in starting a new team, but all the work has been worthwhile."

Since lacrosse is not officially sanctioned by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA), the team will function as a club sport. The players will still wear their school's black and orange colors, and even though there are no guarantees when it comes to wins or losses, Wulstein is simply looking forward to having a lot of fun.

"All of these girls are crazy enthusiastic about it, so I think that no matter what, even if we end up losing all of our games, we're still going to have a super fun time," Wulstein said.

Her mother, Daunelle Wulstein, stepped in to coach the team even though she has no previous experience with the sport.

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"These girls put this together; they built it and they all showed up," coach Wulstein said, adding with a laugh, "I'm just having fun and I'm learning right along with them."

The coach added that players are still welcome to turn out for the team and that interest has been expressed to start a boys team at Douglas.

High Sierra Lacrosse provided a $5,500 grant/loan to assist in the cost of organizing the team.

"That was an enormous help to help us get everything we needed for uniforms, equipment and all that," Edwards said.

Another assist came from the University of Nevada women's lacrosse team, which hosted the Douglas team for a clinic on Saturday in Reno.

"It was a wonderful experience," said Edwards, who hopes to play lacrosse as a freshman at Nevada next year. "We actually scrimmaged them. They have a strong team that has a great track record, so that really helped us out."

CrossFit Ampersand in Minden also provided an indoor setting to go through conditioning in February.

"They let us have space to do pre-conditioning for the last three weeks because the weather was so miserable," said coach Wulstein, who is a trainer for South Tahoe CrossFit.

Douglas traveled for its first game on Tuesday against Desert Oasis Charter School in Fallon. The team will face a more formidable challenge Thursday when its hosts a Galena team that has won five straight league championships.

Edwards understands this challenge all-too-well, having played for two of those Galena championship teams as a freshman and sophomore. She has been at Douglas for two years.

"It's going to be a wonderful learning experience to compete with one of the more advanced teams in Northern Nevada," she said.

Wulstein is optimistic about this season.

"All of our girls have some background in another sport. Most of them played soccer or volleyball or basketball, so they all know how a team works and they're all athletic, so I think we have a pretty good shot at doing well," Wulstein said.

The Douglas roster includes two eighth grade students, Ashlyn Nelson and Amber Long, who have already made an impact during practice.

"They're really good," Wulstein said. "We call them the dynamic duo because they show us up sometimes. I think if they continue this, in a couple of years, they're going to be running the show."

Edwards likens playing lacrosse to being part of a family.

"The team collaboration is wonderful," she said. "When you play, you really feel like being part of a family. There is a lot of technique and finesse, it's hard to play yet simple at the same time. It's just an all-around good sport."

This is the first time Wulstein has played lacrosse since her freshman year at Santa Catalina School in Monterey, Calif. She has previous experience with soccer and she raced for the Douglas alpine ski team this winter.

"I'm just excited that it's here," she said "It's a super fun game. I've tried a lot of other team sports and this is by far my favorite team sport."

Her mother echoed those words.

"It's funny because every girl who has ever played lacrosse, they love it," coach Wulstein said. "It's hard, but it's challenging and then fun, once you get it. You should see the looks on their faces when they catch a ball and they're like, 'Wow, I got it' … of course, then they've got to run."

There is a chance this Douglas team could run further than expected this spring.

"Honestly, not that bad," Edwards said when asked about the team's prospects. "We have girls that can run and they have passion. I know they're going to play their hearts out every game."

Roster

Rachael Holler, No. 1

Ashlyn Nelson, No. 2

Abby Jens, No. 5

Twyla Sobelman, No. 6

Madyson Larimer, No. 7

Carly Howe, No. 8

Grace Brooks, No. 10

Allyson Foster, No. 13

Katarina Wulstein, No. 14

Ashley Edwards, No. 16

April Hall, No. 21

Falan Rose, No. 31

Peri Buck, No. 44

Amber Long, No. 55

SCHEDULE

March 7 @ Fallon, 4 p.m., March 9 Galena, 4 p.m.

March 16 @ Damonte Ranch

March 21 Coyote, 4 p.m.

March 23 @ Manogue, 4 p.m.

April 1 Truckee, 10 a.m.

April 4 @ Spanish Springs, 5:30 p.m.

April 8 Reno, 10 a.m.

April 11 Fallon, 4 p.m.

April 18 @ Galena, 4 p.m., April 25 Damonte Ranch, 4 p.m.

April 27 @ McQueen, 6 p.m.

April 29 Manogue, 10 May 3 @ Truckee, 4 p.m., May 6 Spanish Spr., 10

May 11 @ Reno, 4 p.m.

Home games in bold are played at Gardnerville Elementary School

High Sierra Lacrosse:

http://highsierralax.org” target=”_blank”>Text”>http://highsierralax.org