For most student athletes, participating in a sport is a good way to stay in shape and meet new people. But for others like junior lacrosse player Rachel Skay, the season takes on a whole new significance.
Skay began playing lacrosse at the age of 10 and has been hooked on the sport ever since. In just ninth grade, she made the decision to continue playing lacrosse in college, after being on WJ’s varsity girls lacrosse team her freshman year.
The decision to play lacrosse in college was a difficult one to make, especially because Skay is involved in many other sports and activities. In addition to playing lacrosse, Skay plays field hockey for WJ. One of the hardest things was narrowing down her options and deciding what to focus on.
“In the end, I decided to focus on [lacrosse] because I want to play at a higher intensity level,” said Skay.
This decision was not made lightly and was followed by a great deal of preparation and determination. In addition to playing on the varsity lacrosse team at WJ, Skay plays lacrosse year-round on a club team and constantly works to improve her speed, endurance and stick skills.
Being a student athlete can be difficult, especially when going through the recruitment process.
“It’s a lot of work and it gets pretty stressful, but it will be worth it in the end when I get to play in college,” said Skay.
Even though it has been hard at times, her parents, teammates and coaches have been a constant source of support.
“My parents support me by driving me to all my tournaments and taking me to visit colleges,” she said.
Her teammates are very encouraging as well and believe in her abilities to play lacrosse at a higher level.
“I believe that Rachel Skay is a smart player who, as an underclassman, was able to lead the team, so I have high hopes for her this season and in college,” said senior lacrosse goalkeeper Yasmeen Ajdari.
Her efforts have certainly paid off. She has been recruited by Cornell, Virginia Tech, Davidson, Bucknell and many other schools to play lacrosse, and has even been offered several full athletic scholarships; however, she hasn’t made any commitments.
“I’m still weighing my options,” said Skay.
She admits that she is a little nervous at the prospect of playing in college, but is more excited than anything.
For now, Skay’s main focus is still the WJ lacrosse team. The girls performed exceptionally well last year, making it all the way to regionals. She hopes they will make it even farther this year.
“We have all been working really hard offseason,” she said. “We played indoor lacrosse this winter, and everyone has been running on their own. I expect our team to go pretty far.”
Despite the obstacles, Skay has never given up her dream to play lacrosse professionally, and she will continue to persevere to achieve her goal.
“Lax equals life,” she said.