Girls lacrosse becomes an officially funded sport


Photo Courtesy: Sam Hanek

The girls lacrosse team running onto the field during their 2019 season.

In the spring of 2019, the combined DGN and DGS girls lacrosse team officially became a district funded sport. The sport was originally treated as a club, leaving families to pay for all of the required expenses. With this funding, the athletes will only be required to pay the $117 athletic fee.

Athletic director Randall Konstans speaks about how the team will be financially changing now that they will be funded.

“[Lacrosse] was funded like a club, which means you [and your family] are paying all the expenses for officials, the bus rides, lacrosse balls or any other equipment that you needed. So when you become funded, a lot of those things come off of your plate, and they will pay the $117 athletic fee like everyone else,” Konstans said.

With this funding, one of the noticeable differences is that the team was able to hire coaches. Prior to the funding, the team was using all volunteer-based coaches to mentor all levels of their team. This year is varsity coach Christian Pilapil’s first year on the team.

“This is my first year coaching within the district, but I have been coaching since 2015,” Pilapil said.

The funding will also allow for improvements throughout the team environment. Senior captain from DGS Sam Hanek reflects on the improvements that she believes the funding will provide for the team.

“I think it will affect registration and will be a lot cheaper for girls to play. Also, coaches are going to be paid so that will affect the season for the coaches, but maybe not for the players,” Hanek said.

Sophomore midfielder from DGS Ysa Pakowski feels that the team receiving funding will encourage more students to play.

“With [lacrosse] being funded, I think that we will probably start to get more people to start playing because originally it was a lot of money to play but now that the cost is lowered and refunded, I think it will encourage people to start [playing],” Pakowski said.

The overall environment of the lacrosse team is different compared to most of the sports at DGS. Unlike most sports in the district, the girls lacrosse team is a combined sport of both DGS and DGN. Pilapil explains the communication process that is used throughout the team.

“There is lots of communication between both athletic directors and the coaches between the buildings. Fortunately enough, I am finally in the building, where previously I heard that the coaches were not in the schools themselves so I think that is going to be a huge reinforcement to get to know the students and the players,” Pilapil said.

The crosstown dynamic also has an impact on the players. With team messages having to go through both schools, there can be struggles at times but Pakowski feels that they make it work.

“I think it is kind of hard sometimes, but I think we make it work because with being crosstown, the messages have to go through both schools. I think it also brings us together because there is a rivalry between DGN and DGS, but I think us being together kind of stops that and we are all really close to each other and connect with each other on the field and off,” Pakowski said.

Tryouts will be held March 2-4. The team has already started preparing through holding practices and conditioning at indoor turf fields. Pilapil opens up about his goals for his team this year.

“[My] team goal is really just to get to know them as a player, where they can best fit into the program and really getting them to buy into that program. I am very focused on making sure we communicate as a team, we work together as a team and that comes with wins and losses but realizing that we do everything together as a team,” Pilapil said.

Pilapil isn’t the only one who has high hopes for this season. Hanek also has a variety of goals for her team that she hopes will guide them to a winning season with their new coach.

“Along with a new coach comes a lot of emotions, anxiety and just feelings overall so I am hoping that my team will be able to adjust to the new coach and be able to be successful as a team. [I want us to] still remember our old school stuff but be able to learn from the new coach,” Hanek said.