Official Student Newspaper of Henry M. Gunn High School

Photo courtesy of Stella Manning

Junior Stella Manning: Lacrosse

Junior Stella Manning has been weaving her way through the lacrosse field for the past eight years. Watching her older brother play when she was younger introduced Manning to the sport and inspired her to shoot her shot with lacrosse.

Although she started playing to emulate her older brother, Manning’s love for the sport has pushed her to continue playing through elementary and middle school and into high school. “I really liked the (club) team and our coach,” she said. “It’s just naturally fun for me, so I stuck with it.”

Manning finds that Gunn’s girls lacrosse team places a greater emphasis on teamwork than teams she has been on in the past. “A lot of times on club teams, certain people (were) singled out, and it was more about giving certain people the ball,” she said. “For high school, our team is trying to get everyone to work together and do their part.”

According to Manning, the strong team dynamic was especially visible while competing in the Central Coast Section last year — her first time making it to CCS since she joined the Gunn team. “Last year, playing at CCS was a big moment,” she said. “We played as hard as we could, and it brought the team a lot closer together.”

Balancing extracurricular and academic demands with lacrosse has proven to be a challenge in the past few years. “Earlier this year, I was (even) thinking about not continuing because it was so stressful, but (lacrosse) also gives me a break from that stress,” she said. “I decided to stick with it because I’ve just loved the sport for so long, and I wanted to keep playing.”

Close games — such as a recent one against Mountain View High School — keep Manning’s passion for the sport alive. “It’s always like a one-point game differential, so those games are really fun because they push our team’s limits,” she said. “We often have to play harder than ever before, and a lot of good plays come out from those games.”

Manning’s passion for lacrosse goes beyond enjoying a well-played game, as she also appreciates the craft of the sport. “I just love having really pretty, dynamic plays and seeing the beautiful aspects of the sport,” she said.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

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