Badminton booms, women’s lax lacks players


Eric Johnson

The women’s varsity lacrosse team practices on Tucker Field in Hickory, MD. Women’s varsity lacrosse has only three substitute players, while JV has no substitutes.

Last year, sophomore Ava McDermott would grasp her lacrosse stick and pass the lacrosse ball to her partner. This year McDermott grasps a badminton racquet and volleys the shuttlecock over the net to her partner.

Last year, fourteen girls tried out for JV lacrosse, though only six made the team while the rest were cut. This season, two of the six players moved up to varsity while the remaining four returned to play on JV.

Madison Reeves was one of the eight girls that were cut last year, however she returned this year and is now part of the JV program.

“Honestly I played because it’s something I love. Last year the numbers were just against me but I think it just pushed me to be better,” Reeves said.

The women’s lacrosse team is used to an excess number of players trying out.

“Usually there are lots and lots of people coming out,” Hormes said. “This year there just wasn’t,” head JV women’s lacrosse coach Gina Hormes said. “More freshmen [than sophomores] make up the JV team [now].”

McDermott tried out for lacrosse last year, as a freshman.

“The competition was tough and they [team] only took a few freshman,” McDermott said. As a result of being cut, she decided to try badminton this year.

“I am used to aggressive, contact sports and running everyday. However, I do like playing badminton with my friends and trying something new,” McDermott said.

Unlike lacrosse, the number of badminton players have been increasing. Badminton head coach Tess Gauthier has always had a steady flow of girls to try out for the sport. While badminton needs only 22 girls in order to have a complete JV and varsity team, this year there are 33 girls in total, and last year she had a total of 38 players.

By contrast, this year’s JV lacrosse team started with 13 players, just enough to play without substitutes. After the season began, JV gained a few walk-on players, some of whom haven’t played before.

“It’s never a super great [thing to only have a few players], but it is what is,” Hormes said.

About the abundance of players for badminton and the lack of lacrosse players, Gauthier commented that “lacrosse is very scholarship-driven, and girls can play club [instead of] high school.” According to her, this can lead to their choosing club over their high school team, which leads to lower high school numbers.

“Female numbers are low [for sports] in general,” Gauthier said.

Regarding the overall abundance of badminton players, Gauthier believes that “some [students] think [that] badminton is not competitive, but it actually is.”

Not doing lacrosse has worked out well for McDermott. She is excelling at badminton, a sophomore on varsity.

“[Ava] is doing really well, she partnered with Hannah Frey and they’re our number four doubles team on varsity now,” Gauthier said.

Morgan Taylor is a Copy-Editor for The Patriot and