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Rockdale starts home schedule with a youthful lacrosse team

CONYERS - The Rockdale lacrosse team will hit the field for the first time at home today at Reid Memorial Stadium.

In her first year at the helm, Rockdale lacrosse coach Holly Hamilton will try to sculpt a team from a laundry list of young, talented players.

"This year we are young. We only have three seniors, three juniors and the rest are sophomores and freshmen," she said.

Rockdale returns just four starters from last year in Christine Hatton, Brittany Sikes, Hope Matthews and Whitney Dixe.

Despite the youth, Hamilton said this team has the ability to evolve and improve as the season goes forward.

"One of our strengths is that we are learning so much and gaining valuable experience from getting younger players experience with varsity competition," she said. "Our offensive attack is one of our stronger aspects because that is where most of our returners are playing."

In order for the Lady Bulldogs to be successful, Hamilton said her team will need to learn how to play good defense.

"Our defense is one aspect that we have been working really hard on to improve," she said. "With most of the players on defense being new to the game, they are learning everything so fast and trying to apply their skills and knowledge to all aspects of the game at the same time. I think by the end of the season our defense will be a force to be reckoned with."

Hamilton said this year's team wants to improve on last year's seven-win season.

"I know that the girls have the goal of doing better than they have in the past, and with any program that is building, we are striving to be more successful than in the past," she said. "As a team, we have a goal to beat teams that are ranked above us. Our schedule is tough, and 90 percent of our games are against teams that are ranked above us. I know that the seniors have the goal of earning a bid to the state playoffs, and they are definitely working hard to get there.

"I know that our season will be a success whether or not we make it to state. As long as we can look at the season and say to ourselves, "We worked as hard as we could, we played the best that we could and we left everything that we have on the field," then we will have no regrets in how the season turned out."

Brandon Evans can be reached at brandon.evans@rockdalecitizen.com.

SideBar: At a glance

Team: Rockdale lacrosse

Coach: Holly Hamilton (First Season)

Last year: 7-7

Next game: Today vs. Decatur at Reid Memorial Stadium