Strong fan base supports Lee lacrosse team
Despite the program’s quick start, Lee University’s lacrosse team has cultivated a zealous fanbase.
Although more commonly known as a northern sport, lacrosse has quickly grown in popularity in the South. The sport’s popularity would not be possible, however, without the initiative of lacrosse athletes and enthusiasts such as Lee University's own Brianne Schapira.
“I actually tried to start up a club team my sophomore year in the fall of 2015,” said Schapira. “This eventually put me in contact with Andrea Hudson, who informed me that a Division II lacrosse team was in the works for the 2016-2017 school year.”
Schapira went on to explain that she soon met with the future coach of Lee’s lacrosse team, Addie Wadley, and was eventually presented with a position on the team because of her excitement, enthusiasm and love for the sport.
This type of attitude seems to be what is infectious about Lee’s lacrosse culture.
Not only is the sport loved by those that are on Lee University’s first ever lacrosse team, but it has also been accepted with open arms by the team’s fellow students and peers because of the relationships it has formed off the field.
“I love watching sports in general, but I started supporting the team because of my friendship with Brianne,” said Lee alum and avid lacrosse fan Hannah Middleton. “I’m really proud of her, and I love her passion for the sport.”
Although the reception of the lacrosse team has been strong, the team’s first season has has not come without some challenges.
“Being a new team is tough. Before our scrimmage last semester, none of us knew how each other played and how we would work together as a team,” said Schapira. “We have come a long way since then [. . .]. Our team is incredibly tightly-knit, and I would dare say that we are more of a family than anything else.”
The positives of a newborn team seem to be outweighing the negatives, though, as high spirits have not seemed to be squelched even by the team’s opening 0-5 record.
“I think our team has done an incredible job and has come so far since August,” said Lee University’s lacrosse head coach Addie Wadley. “I look forward to seeing us continue to compete and get better as the season moves on.”
Despite working now working full-time, Middleton is confident that she, along with several of her friends and the rest of the Lee community, will continue supporting the lacrosse team because of the bond that they have created with the players.
“Supporting our lacrosse team is more than watching the games; it’s exciting to have something to cheer for, to believe in,” said Middleton.