By Lauren Sprague
Erin Gingrich, a senior on the Manheim Township girls’ lacrosse team, is trying to soak up every minute on the field as she has returned to the game for the first time since her back surgery this past November. Gingrich had a herniated disk in her back which started to cause her pain in April of last year, and the last game she was able to play before this season was the league championship of the 2017 season. Her surgery prevented her from being able to participate in lifting workouts in the post-season and from being able to play lacrosse in the summer and fall. Gingrich comments, “as soon as I had my surgery, I did as much as I could to get stronger and get back into [lacrosse].” She adds that she, “came back with a passion for the game more than any other time.” Her new outlook on playing her sport can be a good reminder for athletes to play to the best of their ability because an injury could happen when you least expect it. Gingrich, referring to her injury, remarked, “It made me want to strive and play as hard as I can at all times because you never know when that can happen.”
Gingrich expressed that so far this season her team has shown improvement from past years. The girls’ lacrosse team is winning more of their non-league games, which is an impressive feat as their non-league opponents include some of the best teams in the state. The team has victories against tough opponents, such as Conestoga, Owen J. Roberts, and Parkland. What sparked this improvement? Gingrich stated, “This year we’re playing as a team more than any other year. We’re extremely positive and we are coming out and playing extremely intense.” The success of this team could also be attributed to a team saying called “ELE” which stands for “everybody loves everybody.”
As Gingrich reflects on her final season on the Manheim Township girls’ lacrosse team, she says that being a senior is “surreal” for her as she has looked up to the seniors in her past years on the team. Gingrich has become more confident as she takes on this leadership position and is aware that the underclassmen are looking to her to set an example. This new responsibility has led her to feel like she can “be loud, be proud as a Township lacrosse player.” She believes the numerous practices and workouts are worthwhile as she has noticed improvements to her speed and strength from when she was a freshman. This sport has enriched her life in more than just her physical abilities. Gingrich expressed that the sport she has played since third grade has given her more confidence on and off the field as well as time management and leadership skills. Gingrich plans on attending Bloomsburg University next fall to continue her academic and lacrosse career. She is planning to major in environmental, geological, and geographical sciences. Overall, Gingrich is looking forward to being a leader on her team this year and is overjoyed to be back on the field.