Camels ladies lacrosse team looking to make a name for themselves

The Camels only have one senior on their roster, so they project to be a formidable team next season.

Camels ladies lacrosse team looking to make a name for themselves
April 23
12:47 2019

In just their second year competing on the varsity level, the Atkins Camels ladies lacrosse team is fighting to end their season above the .500 mark. That may not sound that impressive to most, but for a team that finished last season without a victory, along with playing several 3A and teams throughout the year, it most definitely is.

Head coach David Hamlin fought hard to bring lacrosse to the female students at Atkins. He already wears several hats at the school, being the head coach for both the men’s football and wrestling teams, but lacrosse was something he wanted to try at Atkins.  

Hamlin was introduced to the sport while he was an assistant coach at Reynolds. He had no previous experience in the sport, but eventually developed an appreciation for the game and what it could provide to his players.

“I had coached girls JV lacrosse at Reynolds for two years,” said Hamlin. “I knew nothing about the sport, never watched it, but we ended up winning two conference championships there.”

“When I got hired as the football coach here at Atkins, that was one of the first things I asked, would it be a possibility of bringing girls lacrosse here.”

His initial request went without response, so after two seasons of being the football head coach, Hamlin asked his athletic director again about the possibility of having the team.   The men then began to email the state about the program. The state finally relented and the program was born. Atkins had a year of skill building and had their first year of varsity competition in the 2017-18 school year.

“Last year was our first year of being in actual competition in a conference,” he said. “We are in a conference with the likes of Mt. Tabor, Southwest Guilford and Western Guilford. My expectations last season was to just win one game. We came up short on that goal, but we were competitive in a couple of games.”

The thought coming into this season was to win a couple of games, Hamlin said. He felt with the nucleus he had coming back, that would be an achievable goal. The Camels have exceeded his expectations and were 6-5 on the year, at the time this article was written.  

“I give a lot of credit to our assistant coaches,” said Hamlin. “We really put a lot on the girls, they work hard and they wanted to win. We have two games left this season and if they just go out and play their own game, we have a chance to possibly win both those games. To maybe finish the year 8-5 after going winless the year before would be great.”

The Camels only have one senior on their roster, so Hamlin is confident in how his team will perform next season. His plan is to schedule a couple of 4A schools to see how his girls perform against some of the top competition in the state. Hamlin thought the third year of the program would be the break-out year for his team, but it seems they are a year ahead of schedule.

Next year, the goal is to make the playoffs, Hamlin said.

“The teams that beat us in the conference this year will be the teams we will wear a chip on our shoulders when we play them,” he said. “Some of the teams are not as good as us, so I tell the girls not to celebrate too much when we beat them, just expect to win.

“We are trying to develop a culture and an environment that there are certain games you expect to win. So, when you win that game, it’s not a bunch of hoopla, we just go back to work and get ready for tougher competition.”

The main reason for Hamlin wanting to start the program at Atkins was to give the young ladies another opportunity to possibly obtain a scholarship to a college or university. He said there are scores of colleges and universities starting up lacrosse programs for women and he wants his ladies to take advantage of those opportunities.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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