By Rick Palsgrove
Canal Winchester lacrosse player MarDawn Rawls is ready to take her game to the college level.
Rawls, a senior at Canal Winchester High School, will receive a college athletic scholarship to play lacrosse next fall at Nyack College in New York, where she plans to major in business. She is the first female player from the fledgling Canal Winchester lacrosse program to earn such a scholarship.
Rawls plays defense on the Canal Winchester lacrosse team and has been in the program for six years playing on co-ed teams, according to Canal Winchester lacrosse coach Vic Paini.
“MarDawn is tenacious on defense,” said Paini. “She has very strong stick skills and is able to make the perfect stick check or poke check at just the right tie to disrupt a play. She is also a great teammate and someone the team always enjoys being around. She’s not playing with us this season, but our senior players still asked that she receive a senior banner and participate in Senior Night. Great evidence to the type of teammate that she is.”
When asked why is it important to the lacrosse program that one of its players has received a lacrosse college scholarship, Paini said, “Our team is a mix of experienced players and new players, players who want to play beyond high school and players who are excited about the enrichment that playing a school sport can provide. MarDawn is likely the first of many players we anticipate playing in college. It’s exciting to see her lead the way so that other players can see what is possible should they want to play beyond high school. We have several other players who are making college visits and being given serious consideration to continue their playing careers in college.”
Paini said the lacrosse program is showing “great progress.”
“The high school program nearly doubled in size before we lost a few players to injury, etc.,” said Paini. “Our record currently sits at 5-4 halfway through the season versus being 0-9 at this same point last year. We are also playing varsity games this season rather than junior varsity games, so it’s great to see our record improve against tougher competition. We also won our first league game beating Dublin Scioto 4-3 at home a couple of weeks ago.”
Paini said the future of the high school program is bright.
“While we lose a few seniors after this season, we look to gain roughly 10 incoming freshman players next year, plus any additional organic growth in the program,” said Paini. “With enough players, we hope to offer both a junior varsity and varsity team in the future. Longer term, the Canal Winchester Lacrosse Association would like to introduce girls lacrosse as well.”
About CW lacrosse
The Canal Winchester Lacrosse Association was founded in 2017 to provide students in and around Canal Winchester the opportunity to play lacrosse at the middle and high school levels. Visit www.cwlacrosse.com for information.