Watch CBS News

Braintree High School's women's lacrosse team captains inspiring a new generation of players

Braintree lacrosse players lead new generation of athletes
Braintree lacrosse players lead new generation of athletes 03:00

BRAINTREE - The captains of Braintree High School's women's lacrosse team are not only leading their team, they're inspiring a new generation of kids to take up the sport.

Three-sport athletes leading the lacrosse team

The four seniors and one junior are standouts on the team and they're also coaches.

"It feels like I have an entire coaching staff," said Braintree High School lacrosse coach Jillian Coene.

All but one of the seniors have come up through the ranks together, playing lacrosse since elementary school.

"It's the same group of girls from third grade up until high school," said senior Callie Burchill. "We all get to play for our hometown, so it's been awesome."

"I actually had a different experience, so I started my freshman year," said senior Jackie McGonigle. "I've been friends with these girls for a long time, so I always saw how much fun they had with lacrosse so I thought I'd try it my freshman year."

Together, they form a nucleus for a team that's been setting a bar for Braintree.

"I think we have a very strong chemistry just because we're with each other," said senior Ava MacDonald. "I'm with them more I am my own family."

Their bond goes beyond the sport too. Each captain is a three-sport athlete. Burchill plays field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse. MacDonald does cross country, basketball and lacrosse. Claire Joyce plays field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse. And McGonigle does soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse.

Inspiring the next generation of lacrosse players

All four girls, plus junior Bella Duffy, coach Braintree Youth Lacrosse for kids from kindergarten to eighth grade.

"I just like reciprocating the experience I had when I was younger," said Burchill.

"I love the game so much, spreading my love for the game and teaching young players how to play and how to have fun with the game," said Duffy.

"For me, trying to get them to really love it is probably the main goal and want them to keep playing," said MacDonald.

The volunteer hours with youth lacrosse have paid dividends, shaping the leaders they've become at the high school level.

"They're very hands on," said Coene. "They'll explain, they'll break it down, they'll actually stop my practice and explain if they have to."

The coaching experience always impacting how the group responds to coaching.

"It definitely puts it into perspective a little bit, you might think, 'Oh why is she saying this?' but when you're the one saying it, you understand a little bit more, which is good," said McGonigle.

So far, the team has gone 8-4, the best the team's been since this group's been in school. They believe they're building something special.

"Hope to continue to beat teams that we're not expected to beat. Like, Needham was an upset obviously," said Joyce. "So I just hope we continue to upset teams that underestimate us."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.