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Guest Contributor:  David Harp

Four years ago, when a large group of freshmen joined the Coppell Cowgirls Varsity lacrosse team, it was out of necessity that they were on the field. These young ladies were coming off of a North Texas Middle School Championship and undefeated season; however, high school lacrosse presented a whole new world. To make the situation more challenging, the varsity team was returning only a handful of upperclassmen, and was also being promoted from Division 2 to Division 1 - roughly the equivalent of a football team leapfrogging from 3-A to 6-A.

The 2013 season was a trial by fire, and by the end, the young Coppell girls had been bullied by older, more physically imposing teams. But for anyone watching—and to the girls themselves—their confidence was growing. They had weathered the worst of the storm and come out sharpened and polished on the other side.

Most importantly, they were a tight-knit group of girls with a leader at the top that they could rally around – their new coach, Molly Ford. As a three-time All-American at Georgetown University, and member of the U.S. National team, Molly understood how to evaluate and shape talent, and by the end of that 2013 season, Molly knew she had a special group of girls.

This proved to be true during the following season, when the Cowgirls shocked the North District and finished second behind perennial power Hockaday, vaulting them into the State Playoffs. The Cowgirls had become a hungry group of hunters, taking down many of the traditional powers along the way, including Highland Park and Southlake. They advanced in the state playoffs before falling to an undefeated Lamar team in the semi-finals.

As this group of girls entered their junior year in 2015, any element of surprise was gone. Instead of being the young upstarts that played the role of hunter, the Cowgirls now found themselves as the hunted. Dallas area teams were circling Coppell on their calendar, looking to knock them off their pedestal. With a target on their backs, the Cowgirls were forced to raise their game to an even higher level. The Cowgirls responded by going undefeated in North District play, and earned the #2 seed in the state playoffs.

After a 12-11 nail-biter of a win to North District rival Episcopal School of Dallas in the state semi-finals, the Cowgirls advanced to the state championship game to face the only other undefeated team—the defending champion St. John’s Lady Mavericks. Being played in Houston on the St. John’s campus, the game saw the Cowgirls in the middle of a hard fought game in a hostile environment. The physical style and experience of St. John’s proved to be more than the Cowgirls could overcome, as they fell 12-8 in a tightly contested match.

That is where the story picks up heading into the 2016 season. The Cowgirls have scaled their way to the peak of the North Texas High School Lacrosse mountain, and have only one goal remaining: bring the state championship home to Coppell. This year’s Cowgirls feature that same group of freshmen from 2013, now seniors, that have matured into a force to be reckoned with, but they’re strengthened by many extremely talented underclassmen as well. This season, the team will feature more weapons on offense, and more fortification on defense than they’ve ever had. The talent on the field is apparent, with multiple D1 college commits to universities including Syracuse and Arizona State, with several other pending.

And for those 2013 Freshmen, it will conclude an unforgettable journey that started for many of them in elementary school. Their quest for the 2016 Texas State Championship begins this Thursday against Keller, and it’s sure to be an entertaining journey every step of the way.

Game information:

When: Thursday, Feb 18, JV 6:00 pm, Varsity 7:30 pm

Where: Coppell Middle School North

Opponent: Keller

Cost: $5 Adults, $3 Students,

FREE for kids wearing a Coppell Lacrosse Jersey

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