MILTON — Milton High School has already made history beginning its first year with a sanctioned lacrosse team, one of a few in the county.
Now the women's team has even more to be proud of as one of its own will play next year at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Senior Riley Kirby said she began playing lacrosse because of her friends. She said it was not something she ever really considered before.
"I was just talking to my friends and I decided to try something new," Kirby said.
A midfielder, Kirby said her coach, Mary Pryor, sent a highlight video to UAH Coach Gail Wallach and began communicating with her. On April 3, Kirby received word that the college lacrosse team wanted her to join the Division II program next year as a walk-on, which is a non-scholarship player.
Pryor said she pushed Kirby to join the college team because she felt Kirby was a great motivator for her team.
"It didn't matter that it was the first day that she was on the team," Pryor said. "She was such a motivator. She will push them not to give up during a game even if we are losing. Her drive and her perseverance (made me know) she would take a challenge on a collegiate level."
Pryor said Kirby is skilled with the ball, describing her as a "powerhouse." She has Kirby playing midfield — a position, according to Pryor, that covers both offense and defense and requires speed and endurance. She said she feels that Kirby's speed was a big part in what landed her a spot on the college team.
Kirby said she feels she is a competitive person. She said she wants to continue the journey and could see herself becoming a lacrosse coach one day.
"I love helping my teammates," she said.
For anyone interested in joining lacrosse, Kirby said don't be afraid to give it a try. Even though coaches may expect a lot, it is worth it.
"Be confident in yourself and give it 100 percent all the time," Kirby said.
According to lacrosse.com, men's lacrosse is a contact sport and all players wear protective gear: helmet, gloves, shoulder pads and elbow pads. Women's lacrosse does not allow body contact but does allow stick-to-stick contact. The only protective gear required for women players is eye gear, while goalies wear helmets and protective pads.