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Sidelines Spotlight: Hoover Lacrosse

At this time next week there's an excellent chance Hoover High School will have another lacrosse championship. That'll make five in a row; no one else has one! It's a mini-dynasty that's growing along with the sport.

"We work on skills everyday. We do passing drills everyday, we do stick work everyday, we do shooting everyday."

That's what the great teams do. And Hoover is a great team.

The program started in 2009 when Fresno State added a lacrosse team. Since then, the Patriots are 70-1; 68-0 against the other Fresno Unified schools.

"It surprises me everyday," says head coach Tim Carey, who is also the school's athletic director. "We've been lucky here. I've had some great kids, some great assistant coaches.

"It's kind of surreal to think about it. You hear all those streaks in sports. This is one for little Hoover High School."

Granted, there are only seven high schools in the valley that have lacrosse as a varsity sport. But neither Bullard nor McLane, Sunnyside, Fresno, Roosevelt nor Edison have been able to win a league championship. Hoover has all five, plus the four post season tournament championships so far.

The fifth one will be decided on Saturday.

Four years ago, Megan Kemple said she "had never even heard of" lacrosse. Now, with 142 goals she's the Patriots' career leader in that category.

And she'll be walking on at Fresno State in the fall.

"I had always thought I would play soccer in college and this opportunity happened to arise," said Kemple, who also has 70 career assists. "And I'm really excited to play. It's gonna be a great opportunity, Division-I sport."

"I'm hoping to try out for the team at UC San Diego," says senior Carissa Rodriguez. "If it's possible, I'm gonna try and play there."

Ariel Ross was the first Hoover player to walk on to a D-I school (Fresno State). As a freshman this year, she started a few games and was the team's most improved player.

"It's fun and exciting, but at the same time I want to build the sport," adds Carey. "Yeah I want to win, I want these girls to win and experience that success, but not at the expense of humiliating another team. We're never out there trying to run the score up.

"I'll empty the bench before I run the score up. We want them to come back tomorrow."

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