There may be a new cast of characters on the field this spring for the Padres. It will not be the boys’ championship-winning lacrosse team of years past, but instead an inaugural girls’ team.
Currently, there is no team on campus, but senior Kaley Kinoshita hopes to change that.
“My main goal is to start a team,” the Girls’ Lacrosse Club president says.
The first step in starting a team is to form a club. According to Kinoshita, the club was made to show that there are enough girls interested in playing lacrosse, and with 26 members committed, that mission is more than accomplished.
Only 12 players take the field at a time, so the club has the numbers needed to play. Of those signed up is junior Jessica Purdom, who argues that girls and boys should be given the same athletic opportunities.
“The boys already have a team,” Purdom adds, “so, in the spirit of equality, the girls should have a team, too.”
Despite a large number of students active in the club, there are no regularly scheduled meetings.
“It’s not a traditional club,” adviser Juan Gomez says. “It’s an organization to store money in ASB.”
Kinoshita has worked closely with Carmel High School parent Mary Rice to secure the funds they need. Even after funds are raised and interest is shown, the logistics of forming a team must be sorted through, including hiring coaches and joining a league. Luckily, for the club, there is a league in the Monterey area in need of another team.
The league—which includes local schools such as Salinas High, York and Stevenson—only has five teams and needs a sixth.
“They need six teams to be a viable league,” Kinoshita says.
This means the league could have championships and Central Coast Section eligibility if Carmel joins.
Girls’ lacrosse is gaining in popularity with more than 200 school teams in California, marking a 33-percent increase over the past five years. The Central Coast, in particular, has caught lacrosse fever, as the number of teams has risen 50 percent over the same period, according to a leading lacrosse power ranking website.
Although Gomez and Kinoshita would like to see a team this 2016-2017 school year, athletic director Golden Anderson is not as optimistic.
“The budget for the 2016-2017 school year is already planned,” notes Anderson, who does not count out a team for next school year.
According to Anderson, the last time a team was formed through a club was the CHS boys’ volleyball team, which enjoyed an undefeated league title last season.
Kinoshita would ideally like to play Carmel lacrosse in her final year of high school, but one of her main goals is making sure the team outlives her when she graduates.
If Kinoshita and Gomez are successful, they could affect Carmel lacrosse lovers for years to come.