As senior, Rebecca Clark enters her final season of Warren Central lacrosse, there is much anticipation for how one of the leading contributors to the team will help push Warriors lacrosse further in skill.
Clark has been playing varsity lacrosse for all four years of high school. During her time on the team, Clark has become one of the standout players and last year, she scored a total of 57 points on 134 shots, more than three times the amount of the second leading scorer on her team.
Long time lacrosse head varsity coach Gary Roberts has been the main coach who has helped aid her development over the past four years. As Roberts’ coaching of Clark begins to wrap up, he reflects upon the impact she has had on the program as well as what she has accomplished in her time here.
“She’s one of the best players we’ve had here,” Roberts said. “She’s finishing up a really strong career and her work has made herself into a stronger player.”
As one of the only freshmen on varsity, she interacted with many upperclassmen that would have a tremendous influence on her future career as a Warrior.
“[Alumni] Taylor Baker and Cassidy Cobb paved the path for me, especially in the way they captained the team. They were definitely leaders who I, to this day, admire and hope to be like, they showed devotion and overall skill in the sport,” Clark said.
Now in her final season of lacrosse, Clark looks back upon her successful career. She has played a large role in mentoring other players as well as helping lead her team to a .500 season, one of the best records in the past five years. With no prior experience in the sport, Clark’s decision to sign up for lacrosse was nearly spontaneous and she faced the challenge of joining a varsity level sport years after most girls begin.
“I honestly can’t pinpoint one exact thing that drew me to lacrosse. I had mutual friends that had been involved and the team was very welcoming,” Clark said. “I was just so intrigued at the idea of playing such an ‘out of the blue’ sport that I signed up.”
Going into her high school athletic career, Clark played freshmen level volleyball in the fall and took up lacrosse in the spring. While she realized that lacrosse was a sport she fell in love with, she also realized that she did not want to continue playing volleyball.
“My favorite part of playing lacrosse is the rush feeling you get when you have the ball. The sport is so fast paced and overwhelming but once you actually have the ball things just slow down. I think I crave that feeling,” Clark said.
Last season, Clark averaged over four points per game, scoring nine in the season opener, eight against Brownsburg and six against North Central. Over her career, Clark has received multiple offers to continue playing in college from schools like Franklin College and Anderson University.
“Last year I achieved so much more than I could have ever expected, and there was no way I could do it without support,” Clark said. “This up and coming year I want to do better than I have ever done.”
While lacrosse has been one of the fun parts of her high school experience, it has also been an outlet for Clark to healthily express emotions that she otherwise could not. After a tough year, Clark is excited to return to lacrosse stronger than ever and play the hardest that she can.
“Lacrosse has always been there for me. I grew attached to it as a way to express myself. Anytime I feel any emotion, I would go out to the barn, to the locker room, to the soccer, and play. I spent a large amount of my summer just putting in reps in as a way to distract myself,” Clark said. “As my father fell ill, I worked to make myself a better player and person. Instead of wallowing, I would take shots, aiming for the corners or bars to improve my own skills. I would distract myself while also making myself better. When I play lacrosse I feel empowered to be the best.”
As Clark wraps up her final season she hopes to give her team the message to always play hard, no matter how far behind they may be. While she hopes that the entire team will continue to grow, she also hopes to work on the new players and help them achieve and find lacrosse as compelling as she does as well as winning the first game in sectionals and be competitive against every school.
“There are so many times where we will get behind and start to lose, but we have to play hard. There are always comebacks and we are always still in the game, you just have to compete for it,” Clark said.