Lacrosse Team, Anchored by New Players, Re-Formed After Six Years
The newly ressurected Walls lacrosse team at the Field School field / Credits: Rami Noursi
The School Without Walls lacrosse team is back for the first time since 2017. The team practices for an hour and a half almost every day after school at the new MacArthur High School field. Athletic Director Kip Smith said, “a group largely consisting of sophomore girls pushed for the sport to be reintroduced.”
Mark Engman, the team’s new coach, is putting in extra effort to support the inexperienced players. The team welcomes new players, like Campbell Tiller (‘26), who said “before this season started, I hadn’t even touched a lacrosse stick.”
Mr. Engman said, “We have a group of enthusiastic, positive players who are willing to learn new skills and challenge themselves, and who work hard during practices and games.”
Mr. Engman first got involved with the Walls lacrosse team back in 2017. “At SWWHS, my daughter Liza Engman played lacrosse,” he said. “I really liked that SWWHS had a women’s lacrosse team and I’m excited to be coaching the team this year.”
While lacrosse is standard at many DMV private schools, DCIAA does not sponsor the sport. “It isn’t a DCIAA sport because not enough elementary and middle schools have student interest,” said Walls athletic trainer Xavion Santiago.“It’s not normal to start a completely new sport in high school, so DCIAA doesn’t acknowledge it for high school students.”
However, the team still needs funding. Ms. Santiago explained that the Walls lacrosse team “gets funding through the School Without Walls HSA — it’s considered as a club.”
The lacrosse season started during the end of February. The team had their first game on March 13 against the Field School and lost 11-4. Despite the loss, Mr. Engman was pleased nonetheless: “It will take some time to develop as individual players and as a team, and that is fine, we will keep getting better and more competitive,” he said.
Alternate captain Naya Noel-Jeune (‘25) said that “no matter the outcome of our games, I am excited to have a fun season and have the team do their best."
In mid-March, the team has eight games scheduled, with the last one taking place on May 9. The team will play mostly private schools; the only DCPS high school with a lacrosse team is Jackson-Reed, which they will be playing on April 13.
Having to play against mostly private schools can be intimidating, but Sasha Bryer-Gottesman (‘25) said, “I wanted to challenge myself and go outside my comfort zone, since sports aren’t really my thing.” Walls lacrosse gives students a chance to experience high school sports without having the pressure of winning.
The team has two main captains and two alternate captains. The main captains are Virginia Burke (‘24) and Katrina Tracy (‘23). Tracy said, “As captain, I want to build routines and camaraderie between players and help everyone have a good season."