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Student-Athletes Pioneer Oxon Hill's Lacrosse Program

9:42 PM, May. 03, 2013 EDT

Story & Reporting by Dave Owens

OXON HILL, Md. (WUSA 9) -- Field of dreams, how about field of desire. Oxon Hill lacrosse works it out, sweats it out and runs it out, prepping for games that don't even count.

"They're out here because they want to challenge themselves," said boys' coach Chris Keck.

Lacrosse is in the midst of a meteoric rise nationally. Youth participation increased by 138 percent from 2001 to 2010 according to USA Lacrosse, but the fervor hasn't caught on among Prince George's County High Schools. Not one sanctioned league exists. Oxon Hill, one of the few organized teams, gets by -- barely.

"We have limited resources," said girls' coach Sheen Washington.

Non-sanctioned means unfunded, so the cost of the sticks, pads, gloves, balls and jerseys comes out of their own pockets. And don't forget the price of gas, which isn't cheap, considering students have to travel from Oxon Hill, Maryland to play teams in the District.

While opponents roll up in the traditional school bus, the Clippers pack everything into cars. Wardrobe changes are also part of Oxon Hill's game-day routine.

"All the girls don't have uniforms, so some of the girls have to switch on and off," said Washington.

It's rough, but it doesn't deter the athletes.

"Every sport for everyone. We can't be denied," said senior Shannon Kirkland, a whirlwind who started the girls' team from scratch because she was told she couldn't play on the boys' team.

"I wanted to play," she said.

Their amenities aren't the best, so what? They're Oxon Hill and they're not going anywhere.

"We feel like we're the pioneers for this sport and the rest of the county," said Augustine Nkanaka. "And we're not going anywhere."



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