Inside the Start of a National Powerhouse

Hayden Roberts, Staff

When Lake Highland Preparatory School comes to someone’s mind, one might think of a national powerhouse in academics and athletics. Dominating the educational and athletic field is one of Lake Highlands’ priorities. However, a program becoming a national phenomenon is girls’ lacrosse. Last year girls’ lacrosse owned the national rankings as the number-one team in the country. The girls had prevailed over their opponents finishing with a near-perfect win: a percentage of 900. What makes this team of Lady Highlanders so great? What is the secret behind their national dominance? How has Lake Highland forged this dynasty?

Head Coach Robinson has had the luxury of leading this lacrosse team and many past lacrosse teams to national power. When asked if the Lady Highlanders could bring home another state title he said, “We will be in the mix. The championship has
been between us and American Heritage Delray since 2018. They are a team with a lot of returning talent and will be a force to be reckoned with. But our players have played against them a lot in high school and club. We know anything can happen in one game. Right now, we are just going to concentrate on getting better each practice and each game. We are going to enjoy the journey along the way. And if we both get to the state championship again, then we will square off in another epic battle again.” A well-rounded team is beneficial to a championship team because everyone chips in and does her part. Coach Robinson has a very
disciplined team and quite a few stand-out players. He explained, “This year, we are getting more equal contributions from a lot of people. But I have to give some major credit to our Juniors: Izzy Hughes, Alex Horn, Nina Menozzi, Chloe Loy, Mack Van Marke De Lumen. In the past, they had been role players on our team, and this year they have really stepped into high-level playing roles and leadership roles. And Gigi in the goal has been consistently great through-out.” Even the best teams can fail if they don’t have chemistry, but this team of Highlanders has some of the best chemistry on the field. Coach Robinson adds, “I think our team chemistry will help in both games and practice. Just from an overall standpoint, the journey becomes so much more enjoyable when the players and coaches all get along.” When asked about the strengths of the team, Coach Robinson said, “We have one of the best goalies, if not the best goalie, in the state of Florida in Gigi Adamson. Our other strength is our balance. We have a lot of players with similar abilities so it will be very difficult for our opponents to concentrate on stopping any one player. Also, I think our unselfish style of play is a big strength.” With every great team, there is always a coaching worry about replacing talented players. Coach Robinson has other plans for his Freshmen he revealed, “We have nine of them, and I love them. They are really nice people, hard workers, coachable, and talented lacrosse players. I hope that their early success will not cause them to ease up on the gas pedal. Our goal is to push this class to achieve its highest levels and improve each year throughout their high school career.”

The secret to every great team is defense. The offense is what gets teams to championhips, but we all know defense is what wins the championships. Returning goalie from last year’s state championship team, Gigi Adamson is now in grade 11. During the season, Gigi has put up monster numbers with a 55.5 save percentage against top teams and five saves in the season opener. Gigi has strong feelings for her past teams and the team she leads this year. Gigi said,
“I think this team is very young, but all have lots and lots of potential to grow as a team. I think our chemistry is really good so our goal is as it always is: to win a state championship.” Gigi is full of confidence from knowing and seeing what this team can do. To
the question, “Do you think this team could win a state championship very easily?” she replied, “Yeah, I think there would need to be a big mindset change, and we really have to work at it. But when we get there if we can turn it on and get going. Yeah, I think
we can win.” Playing goalie there is a lot of pressure, and having a strong mindset can help with that pres- sure. When asked about her mindset, Gigi had this to say: “My mindset has always been to make sure that everyone in front of me is doing what they need to do, to make sure that the ball never gets to me, or they’re doing what they need to make themselves look good, and I’m just here to make sure it breaks just in case. I think that this season I keep that same mentality that the team is doing really well and making sure my defense is running smoothly, but I want to be more in terms of that I will have to make saves no matter what,
so I have to be paying attention.” Gigi is a standout player, leader, and modest team member. When asked about being a leader, she responded with, “I have been put into more of a leadership position, as all the Juniors have, and I think that we have been running all the captain’s practices. We have been going to all the conditioning, and I think that is an overall model thing to show up, you play, and you give your best no matter what, and it really helps the younger girls come up with you.” Even the best leaders need some help and trust that their team will always be there to back them up. “We have not always been close or had the best chemistry in the past, but since we spent so much time together in the offseason we are all really good friends, and it just makes practice more enjoyable. And it makes us all try harder,” described Gigi.

Watching this team in person was a show. The Highlanders put on a display of an explosive fast paced offense, and a on tehir heels defense, every defender with cat like reflexes stealing the ball, or blocking a shot. The team was calm and collected and always ready for the next play. This team was determined to win playing with a passion and dominating their opponet. After watching this preformance of talent on both sides of the ball there is no doubt that this team deserves and is the number one team in the country.

These girls all have their sticks and heads in the game. It was clear that these girls were all leaving all of their hearts, sweat, and effort on the field whether it is in practice or gameday. Always ready to put on a show for their fans, and scouts. This team is very hungry and determined to bring home another national ranking and add it to their trophy collection. It would be an understatement to say that this group of Lady Highlanders is anything but a national powerhouse, dominating Florida state play and out-of-state play. We look forward to cheering on our Lady Highlanders in all of their wins, and look foward to celebrating another state title.

(Above) The Highlander defense prepares to make a stand. Gigi Adamson, grade 11, is eager to make a great save and help her team transition from defense to offense. In order to save a penalty, the goalie must
always be ready. All photos by Hayden Roberts.
(Above) Gigi Adamson, grade 11, Clemson commit, stands near midfield waiting to defend the goal against the opposing team. The Highlanders have
control of the ball by forcing a turnover. Gigi stands in an athletic position to prepare for a turnover and prepares to save a goal.
(Above) The Highlanders say the Pledge of Allegiance before the start of their game. The Lacrosse team waits to start their home season strong against their opponents. At the same time, the Seniors take in their
first home game of the season. In the meantime the Freshman wait to start their dominant careers with this home opener.
(Above) Alex Horn grade 11, looks to win the faceoff against her opponet. After the Highlanders scored, they always have to be prepared to win the ball. Alex waits for the referee to blow her wistle to start the faceoff.
Alex had successfully won this faceoff. All Photos by Hayden Roberts.