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CRESTWOOD -- South Oldham High School is adding a new sport to its athletic department, thanks in part to start up fees being allocated by Oldham County Schools.
The Dragons will field a girls lacrosse team this spring, after getting approval to receive more than $40,000 from the school board on Monday night. The fees will help pay for equipment and jerseys for the new squad.
Girls lacrosse is a club sport in Kentucky, because not enough schools play the sport for it to be sanctioned by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.
But it has a lot of interest in the area, South athletic director Mitchell Irvin, said.
Previously, South shared a team with Oldham County High School, but the majority of players on the team went to South, Irvin said. North Oldham High School already has its own girls lacrosse team.
Irvin told school board members he had more than 45 girls ready to start their own squad for South.
The South team will have plenty of neighboring schools to play in the area, including North and several Louisville private schools like Assumption and Sacred Heart and public schools like Ballard, Male and Scott County.
“It was the next program that we should grow (at South),” Irvin said. “And it always helps to start a girls program with Title IX.”
Irvin said the next job is to find a coach for the squad, which starts play in the spring. Even without a coach, the athletic director foresees big things for his newest team.
“They’ve had success as a club team so, no pressure on the players but we should be competitive,” he said. “I like how our district stacks up.”
More than a dozen girls attended the school board meeting in support of the new squad. Two of those were seniors Alex Gilliland and Sarah Wakefield, who played for years for the old combined club squad.
“This is so awesome, I can’t even describe it,” Wakefield said after the board approved the fees for the new squad. “The one thing you want is a senior night on your own field.”
Gilliland echoed those feelings, saying the combined squad in the past had struggled with an identity.
“We struggled with having a home field and being able to host games,” she said. “Now we can look professional when we play.”
The two seniors said they also expect to be competitive in their first season, thanks to experience with the combined squad.
They encouraged any girls interested in playing to try out for the squad and expressed hope that a third girls lacrosse team in Oldham could emerge soon.
“I hope (Oldham County High School) gets their own team soon, too,” Gilliland said
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