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The Raider Voice

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The Raider Voice

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New Coaching Staff brings hope to Girls Lacrosse for the Upcoming Season

The+Raiders+come+together+while+raising+their+sticks+to+break+after+an+afternoon+practice.+They+prepare+for+the+upcoming+season.+
Emma Die-Dienes
The Raiders come together while raising their sticks to break after an afternoon practice. They prepare for the upcoming season.

With the addition of a new coaching staff, and a season-opener win against Coral Shores on Feb. 12 the girl’s lacrosse team is off to a strong start.

Former Southern Virginia University’s women’s lacrosse head coach, Rainey Whitworth and division 1 collegiate player from Lehigh University Emily May joined the coaching staff with one mission: to transform the program.

“We want to build unity, and build a foundation for the future of the sport while capitalizing the current potential we see in the Raiders,” Whitworth said.

Both coaches agree that the Raiders have a young, athletic team with great potential. They see room for growth and want to develop players while expanding the program over the next few years. Changing the perspective of the game for the players is their priority.

“I believe getting the team to see the potential in themselves and the team as a whole was the first step to success,” Whitworth said.

Both coaches are bringing their experience with the sport to the team. Whitworth was recognized as the 2023 USA South Coach of the Year and secured Virginia’s second consecutive conference championship during her time as a coach. She also coached the Spain Under 20 women’s lacrosse team in multiple international competitions.

May grew up playing lacrosse in Baltimore, coming from a big lacrosse family in which both of her younger sisters went on to play in college like her. After spending the past few years in Italy, studying art, she wanted to get reinvolved in the sport she grew up with and bring a sense of family to the team.

“I want the girls to not only love the game but also feel like they are part of a lacrosse family on and off the field,” May said.
As a unit, the coaches want to provide an environment where the players feel comfortable, and motivated to continue to improve their game where players can take risks and try new things so that the team can grow together.

“I believe that the ability to play the game of lacrosse is a privilege and to have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself is something all athletes should take deep pride in,” Whitworth said.

The new coaching staff has shown they can push the team toward victory and a successful season.

“The coaches’ philosophy and style have been a big shift from last year’s season. They’ve been inspiring and motivating through preseason and now. Their commitment, determination, and organization have led us to improve massively and we can see this from our first win,” varsity goalie Ruthie Neuhaus said.

 

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