BILLINGS — Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the nation, and that rings true in our own backyard, especially for girls. In fact, it’s seen quick enough expansion to have two high school teams in Billings this year, opening doors into the future.
“The life lessons they learn in this are phenomenal. It's great for the girls to know there are other sports out there. Other opportunities," head coach Matt Bailey said.
“Being able to now play all the way through high school, and the opportunity to go play in college is huge right now. I think that's fantastic," said junior Kaylynn Wilks.
The Rimrock Lacrosse team features several girls that have been playing together for years. But they seem to have a similar story on their introduction to the game.
“My dad had played in high school back east, and then he got my sisters into it, so then I wanted to try," Wilks said.
“My dad played at the Air Force Academy, so when we moved back to Montana he said, 'We're going to do this as a family.' My four siblings and I started playing, and all five of us have loved the sport and played it as a family," said senior Ally Foster.
Now Lacrosse is one of the more physically demanding sports. Bailey says that his girls will run on average between four and five miles in their matches. Then add in the ‘hockey’ aspect of physicality and it can take quite the toll throughout the year.
“We definitely go through conditioning throughout the season to get our bodies ready for playing in a rough environment," said Jasmin Zimmerman. "By the end of the season a lot of us are beaten and bruised, literally and physically, but it's all worth it in the end."
While the Rimrock Lacrosse team can be seen as a sort of pioneer in their sport, expect the growth in the sport to continue.