New lacrosse club focuses on local community

By John Armstrong – jarmstr1@unca.edu – Staff Writer | Sept. 17, 2014 |

New lacrosse members gather to practice. Photo by John Armstrong.
New lacrosse members gather to practice.
Photo by John Armstrong.

New to UNC Asheville, the lacrosse club, comprised of both men and women’s team, began the semester with a rocky start.

Corey Stanley, an environmental science student and senior at UNCA, put his love for lacrosse into action and co founded the club.

“I met some of my best friends from lacrosse and I want to extend that opportunity to the kids here,” Stanley said.

Stanley currently coaches the club’s men’s lacrosse team and an Asheville youth lacrosse team.

 Rachel Hillhouse, health and wellness student, played lacrosse since she was eight years old and is a New York native. She coaches the women’s team and acts as vice president for the club. She said she wanted to put lacrosse on UNCA’s radar.

“I transferred in and was trying to start a women’s team and found out Corey was trying to start a team so we got together and decided to do a dual team,” Hillhouse said.

Hillhouse also expressed a deep interest in expanding the sport outside of the university.

“I want to grow the game in Western North Carolina,” the twenty six year old said.

Right now, the men and women’s lacrosse operate together and share the same space, but Hillhouse said they intend to split the two groups once the club can sustain its members and finances.

The club puts an interesting twist on club sports especially with its focus on community engagement and service. Stanley said that community service projects are opportunities to get their name out in the public and secure funding for the club. Some of the community service projects they have in store include volunteering at Brother Wolf and helping coach youth lacrosse in the local area.

“We don’t want to be known for our sport, we want to be known for our community type atmosphere,” the vice president said.

Many members of the club mentioned how they felt close to each other and also mentioned they want to display their bond to not only the school, but also the community.

Sydney Stradling, a freshman on the women’s team, said she found out about the club via a Facebook post on her class page. Of the practices she attended, she noticed there were a lot of people new to the sport, which many experienced players do not mind.

“It’s pretty much teaching the basics and getting the people who have played before to help those who haven’t,” Stradling said.

Stradling also said the sense of community formed from just the few practices.

“I really hope it becomes a big thing because it’s a really great sport and its very community based,” the freshman said.

William Clark, a sophomore, said he enjoys the team aspect of the club.

“Like any team, it’s a family that will support, push and achieve,” Clark said.

The club does not limit the people who can join and Stanley said alumni asked to join as well.

“I’m open to alumni, because then they can teach their kids the sport,” Stanley said.

Stanley also said team members exercise patience at their practices.

“I’ve never seen a team with such patience and commitment to helping others,” the president said.

Stanley also noticed a lot of the experienced players want to help and include the new players.

“A lot of times you have someone with a different caliber than everyone else and they get pushed aside, but the players want to help people get better,” Stanley said.

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