Former Jackson Lacrosse players Grace Merrill and Anna Woodhams are part of the opening season of Kent State

Not everyone is aware that the women's lacrosse team at Kent State University debuts this season. Two former editors of Jackson High School want to change that as a true freshman.

"Students on campus ask me what sport I play," said attacker Anna Woodhams, one of two former polar bears who are now Golden Flashes. "When I tell them about lacrosse, many of them say they did not even know we had a team, it's an exciting time for us, this is a chance to make history and set the expectation for the program." the future."

It is this drive that has brought the young Golden Flashes through the transition to college life.

"The adaptation was hectic," said goalkeeper Grace Merrill, the team's other Jackson graduate. "Compatibility of schoolwork and practice is tough, but good teammates are helping, we're young, but we have high expectations, we want to do our best and try to achieve some victories, everyone works hard to achieve that goal out. "

The Golden Flashes fell on Sunday for the inaugural match and lost 19: 8 in Cincinnati. Woodhams and Merrill both started, Merrill played the entire 60 minutes and recorded 14 savings.

Their opening race is on Saturday at 13.00 against Robert Morris.

Merrill and Woodhams talked last week during the final preparations for the start of the season. Both were part of a Jackson program that ended in 2016 and 2017 as runner-up in the state. This shared story has helped both players adapt.

"It's cool to be part of someone I've known for so long," said Woodhams. "It's more fun, we call ourselves in practice with our old nicknames" Gracie "and" Woody. "That's a tough rapport we can build right now, and we already have that, I know, has my back."

The two hope that the bond leads to the same success as Jackson.

"Having someone from home is a big help for me," Merrill said. "It seems we've always been together, it's nice because it seems to me that I always have this little piece of home with me."

There may be some growth pains. The Kent State program consists entirely of newcomers who still adapt to the college game.

"It's much faster," Merrill said. "The shots are more difficult, some rules are different, the speed of the game is very different."

Do not expect this group to be intimidated.

"We just have to keep working," said Woodhams. "We are a new program, but we want high expectations, we want to find a way to win as much as possible, and we also hope we will have some fun along the way."

Being the first group of players to start a team is not easy. It brings with it some advantages.

"In fifty years, watching the program and telling everyone," I was part of the first team Kent State ever had, "said Woodhams," It just feels cool to be part of the story here "

Reach Cliff at 330-580-8494 or

On Twitter: @chickmanREP