By Donald Heath
Special for the Effingham Herald
SPRINGFIELD -- When your lacrosse program is less than two years old, every game is a learning experience -- even in the state tournament.
“Last year, with the season being cut short, we didn’t even know what the playoffs looked like,” Effingham County girls lacrosse coach Jane Trzaska said.
Trzaska and her Rebels understand there’s a lot of work ahead before being competitive with established programs like Northview High from Johns Creek.
The Titans, who dropped down from Class 6A-7A this season because of enrollment, scored seven goals during the opening five minutes and overpowered ECHS 20-2 in the first round of the Class A-5A girls state lacrosse championship April 28.
Grace Pritchard and Audrey Ubernosky scored goals for the Rebels, who concluded their season with a 3-7 record.
But Trzaska doesn’t want the girls to put their sticks away. The more they play, the better they’ll get.
“I know some of the girls will be playing in the summer so that always helps and we’ll start practicing in the summer with conditioning,” Trzaska said.
Last season, in their first year competing in the Georgia High School Association, the girls played only three games before COVID-19 cancelled the remainder of the season and, just as importantly, limited summer conditioning and workouts. The Rebels began playing lacrosse as a club sport in 2019.
Trzaska says the future is promising. Assistant Amber Roe played lacrosse in college and has been instrumental in teaching fundamentals and strategy.
ECHS can take some satisfaction in defeating rival South Effingham twice along with Savannah Christian once during the season.
And the Rebels managed to stay enthusiastic despite a rash of injuries. Faith Strickland started in goal Wednesday -- ECHS’ third starting goalie of the season.
“We had a little bit of everything injury-wise,” Trzaska said. “If you put injuries in a hat and shook it up and pulled one out, we probably had it. It was definitely an adventure this year. But we continued to learn things and improve things. I’m excited to see how much these girls improve in the future.”
Fellowship Christian 20, So. Effingham 0
High-scoring Fellowship Christian rolled past South Effingham’s girls in the opening round of the Class A-5A state lacrosse championship.
The Paladins, who average more than 17 goals a game, raised their record to 14-3 and will play Starr’s Mill in the second round.
SEHS ended its season 1-10.
Blessed Trinity 15, Effingham Co. 0
Undefeated and top-ranked Blessed Trinity of Roswell blanked the Effingham County boys in the opening round of the Class A-5A state lacrosse championship.
The Titans (18-0) advanced to play McIntosh in the second round.
ECHS ended its season with a 7-8 record.