Warriors will play a 10-game schedule

Published in the March 25, 2016 edition.


WAKEFIELD — There will be one more underclass program this spring for Wakefield Memorial High School.

Due to a large turnout in numbers, a freshman girls’ lacrosse team will be added to accommodate the players at all three levels as just having a varsity and JV team wouldn’t have been enough.

Brendan Kent, K-12 Director of Athletics, Health and Wellness for the Wakefield Publics, went before the School Committee on Tuesday night to seek the funding for a freshman girls’ lacrosse team.

Kent proposed funding a coach at $2,100 a year, which he said was in line with freshman coaches for other sports.

At the meeting, Kent said that 58 high school girls turned out for lacrosse tryouts this week, including enough freshmen to field a team. He said that there would not be enough room for all of them with just the existing varsity and junior varsity teams and some girls would have to be cut.

He said that there are five other schools with freshmen girls’ lacrosse teams in the Middlesex League and each school has agreed to play Wakefield twice for a 10-game season.

Kent added that at the present time, there were not enough boys to justify adding a freshman team in boys’ lacrosse.

He said that user fees would more than cover the cost of fielding the freshman girls’ team.

“We did add a freshman girls’ lacrosse team. I went before school committee on Tuesday night and they approved the girls’ freshman lacrosse team,” said Kent. “The girls were thrilled. The girls’ lacrosse program had 58 girls show up to tryouts, so they obviously needed a third team. If they did not get approval for a freshman team, they would have had to make a number of cuts, which we did not want to have to do. We want to support as many opportunities for our kids as possible, especially in areas where there is growing interest, as there appears to be in girls’ lacrosse.”

Kent said that varsity head coach Cara Luca came to him during the winter season and said there was probably going to be a need for a freshman team with the anticipation of a big freshman class.

“I told her I needed exact numbers before I could go to the School Committee for approval,” said Kent. “On the first day of the preseason, there were 56 girls signed up and 58 showed up. Since lacrosse teams carry 18 to 22 players, it would have been tough. We either would’ve had to make massive cuts or have bigger rosters. That probably would’ve resulted in players not getting any playing time. We didn’t want to do either one.”

With the approval of a girls’ lacrosse team, the opening for a coach has been posted. Kent said the posting needs to be done for five days from a legal standpoint. There are already some interested candidates and Kent said that Luca had some former players show interest as well.

“We have been receiving applications from some great candidates,” said Kent.

In addition to Wakefield, Arlington, Lexington, Woburn, Reading and Winchester all have freshman girls’ lacrosse programs. Wakefield will play fours team twice, once at home and once on the road. The other team, Woburn, will play in Wakefield twice. There are five games in April and five in May.

It should be noted all those other schools play in the Middlesex League Liberty division while the Warriors are the lone M.L. Freedom division school fielding a freshman girls’ lacrosse team. Wakefield will play it home games at Landrigan and Walton Fields.

Kent said that the Warriors may add more games against non-league teams. However that may be difficult do with most programs already having their schedules set.