Winners again

Fort Pierce, FL – Winning the state final again was sweet for a certain girls high-school team, as Paul Janensch tells us in this Treasure Coast Essay.
They did it again! The Vero Beach High School girls lacrosse team won its sixth consecutive state final. I can safely say this is the dominant high-school girls sports program in Florida. It was the 60th straight win for the Indians and the 76th against Florida opponents. Beating Winter Springs 20-3 for the championship was especially sweet for the players and coach Shannon Dean. Last season, the championship trophy they won in 2009 was taken back by the Florida High School Athletic Association because they played too many games out of state. Then in the 2010 final, the team barely edged out Lake Brantley 10-9, and the girls felt they should have played better. In lacrosse, a long stick with a net at the end is used to catch, carry and pass a solid rubber ball and hurl it into the opponent's goal. It was played for centuries by native peoples in the Americas before Columbus arrived. Women's lacrosse is played with 12 players on a team. There is only limited physical contact. The protective gear consists of just a face guard and a mouth guard. The emphasis is on speed and skill, not brute strength. Next season will be a challenge for the Vero Beach girls. The team is losing seven seniors to graduation. Fortunately, Shannon Dean says he will be back for a 10th year as coach. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.
Treasure Coast essayist Paul Janensch was a newspaper editor and taught journalism at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.