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T IS FOR TENACITY


Lacrosse comes full circle for Theresa Sherry BY MEGAN SCHNEIDER


Theresa Sherry became a part of history without yet knowing it. Born in Truckee, Calif., Sherry moved east with her family when she was 3 to lacrosse-rich Baltimore. She tried it once. But then her stick collected dust for years as she focused on soccer and basketball. Sherry rediscovered lacrosse thanks to coach Wendy Kridel at The Bryn Mawr School, home to the first-ever


women’s lacrosse team in the United States. Rosabelle Sinclair, a graduate of the St. Leonards School in Scotland, where the first women’s lacrosse game was played in 1890, brought the sport stateside in 1926. “[Kridel] really taught me to love the game and how to get better,” Sherry said. “I was a good athlete and I became a good lacrosse player at Bryn Mawr.” After earning gold with the U.S. U19 women’s national team in 1999 and high school All-American honors in 2000, both under Kridel, Sherry won four straight Ivy League titles at Princeton, plus two NCAA championships in 2002 and 2003. As a senior in 2004, she was the IWLCA Midfielder of the Year. After graduating, Sherry felt compelled to return to her California roots. She became an assistant at Cal in 2006, and one year later, she was promoted to head coach. Sherry guided the Bears through a turbulent time — the university at one point decided to shut down the women’s lacrosse program before reversing course — and established the BearLax club team. Sherry left Cal after the 2011 season, but she never left lacrosse. In 2015, it came full circle when she visited the sport’s birthplace as a manager for the U.S. U19 team that won silver in Scotland, which featured the first-ever Team USA player from California, Jackie Gilbert. In 2016, BearLax was rebranded as the


WATCH ONLINE


Tenacity Project, a non-profit dedicated to advancing women’s lacrosse by creating a competitive


It’s about more than X’s


and O’s. Follow the compelling stories of three California players, the life lessons they learned through the Tenacity Project and the bonds they forged with founder Theresa Sherry at youtube.com/ uslacrosse.


environment where players and coaches are empowered to reach their highest potential. “We definitely want our players to be better with


the X’s and O’s and with technique, but we also want to be a part of crafting their identity for after they play their last game,” Sherry said. The Game Changer Program, Tenacity Project’s most recent development, launched in September 2016, allows donors to sponsor a player throughout a given season. “We are trying to ... make sure that any girl can play regardless of their family’s ability to pay fees, travel and deal with the logistics,” Sherry said. “We’re just trying to give access to more and more girls.” Why Tenacity?


Ever since camp counselors asked Sherry to pick a word she associated with herself, starting with the same letter as her first name, Tenacity just stuck. It is defined as the quality of being determined, and for Sherry, staying determined. USL


USlaxmagazine.com March 2017 US LACROSSE MAGAZINE 23


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