Varsity lacrosse girls scoop up the opportunity to help younger players

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By Katherine Lee, Staff Reporter

The girls on the varsity lacrosse team, decked out in neon yellow shirts, scatter across the field, but this time they’re not facing off against another team. Instead, they are helping to instruct the young members of the Pioneer Quix Stix, a girls’ lacrosse program created in the mid-1990s to develop the skills of players in grades one through eight in the Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships.

At the start of each season, the players on the girls’ lacrosse team are split up and paired with one of the 22 Quix Stix teams. They help to run clinics and referee games, coach the girls, and attend their practices and games.

“I think it’s really good to get involved with the girls in the Quix Stix program because that’s the future of what our team is going to be, and it gets them excited for the team,” said Megan Marengo, a sophomore on the varsity team.

Marengo spends Monday and Wednesday evenings working with the girls on the fifth- and sixth- grade team. She teaches them skills such as scooping and cradling, making sure that the girls have a proper grip on their sticks.

Varsity player and junior Annie Nikolic was a member of the Quix Stix program herself.

“I remember looking up to all of the lacrosse players and just being like, ‘wow, I can’t wait to be like them one day,’ and so it was a great experience. It’s so special,” Nikolic said.

Now, in high school, Nikolic serves as a role model for the younger players. She teaches them what she knowsabout lacrosse, including skills that have helped her in the past. Along with the other players on the ’Stoga team, she enjoys playing games with them.

On most weekends, the girls on the Quix Stix teams have games against other teams in the program. The players on the lacrosse team, including Marengo and Nikolic, help out at the games as referees and by showing support. They cheer on the younger players and give them tips to help them score.

“This is definitely a great experience for both us and the little kids. For them, they look up to us all the time, and it warms our hearts because we’re making them smile. We want to have fun with them, and it’s just great that we get to meet all these new girls that love lacrosse,” Nikolic said.

The season begins in March with games starting in April, and ends roughly around Memorial Day. This year, the Quix Stix program kicked off on March 4 with various clinics run by the girls’ lacrosse team.

Depending on the team, which is based primarily on age, practices are held on five different fields in the district, including the one at Valley Forge Middle School, where the ’Stoga players attend Quix Stix practices to help the younger girls. The program has grown significantly since it was founded in the 1990s, expanding from just 15 participants to over 430 girls.

Especially for current eighth grade girls in the program, it is a great chance for them to meet the girls on the Conestoga team since they will play together when the younger lacrosse players enter high school, according to Marengo.

“I think it’s really cool to see younger athletes and see how inspired they are,” Marengo said. “It makes me excited to see how talented they are already and how much better they’re going to be when they’re in high school.