Lady Bears Take the Field


Katie Miller and Amelia Kulich begin the start of their match. Photo provided by Amelia Kulich.

During the spring season at Palmer Ridge, female student athletes have the opportunity to participate in many sports including track, soccer, tennis, golf, cheerleading, and lacrosse. Before the 1970’s women in sports were occasional and rarely seen. After many protests and women asking for equality in the workplace and a chance to participate in a sport, Title IX was created. Title IX is a law that states women should not be discriminated in any place that has federal funding, for example schools. Title IX and popular women athletes paved the way for women in the future. Some of the leaders of Title IX are Bernice Resnick Sandler, Billie Jean King, Cynthia Cooper, Nancy Lieberman-Cline, Val Ackerman, and numerously more. Currently, there is more than 3 million girls in the nation that play in high school sports. Our Lady Bears proudly represent PR and themselves when they step on the field.

Women’s lacrosse is a high speed-high intensity sport played with 12 people on the field. The game starts with a draw, where a midfielder from each team goes to the center of the field and fights for the ball. In a draw, the ball starts between both sticks, which is at chest level and they push their sticks and immediately fight for the ball. Whoever wins the ball continues and tries to score a goal.

At Palmer Ridge, the women’s lacrosse team is a district sport, a sport that Palmer Ridge High School, Monument Academy High School, and Lewis-Palmer High School players can join. This year, they have taken a new and interesting route to promote positivity throughout the team, a leadership council. In the council, there are girls from each grade that are outlets to talk about anything regarding the team. Claire Shin is a freshman on the leadership council she says, “The leadership council is a fun way for our team to bond and talk to each other. I think it is cool because I get to talk to people and my teammates can talk to me.”

Allia Strycker (12) cradling the ball. Photo by Lauren Russo.

The team is off to an excellent start! Varsity beat Rampart 20-1, and Arapahoe 16-5. At their first home game of the season, the Bears demolished Pueblo West , 20-0. The most valuable bear, ‘MVB’ is a team competition to compete for the game’s most valuable player. So far, the most valuable bear have been Amara Langstaff, Natalie Jansky, Lily Montano, Heather Hawkins, and Claire Shin.

Natalie Jansky is a senior at Palmer Ridge. She plays lacrosse and is continuing her athletic career playing lacrosse at University of Tampa. On April 20th, Jansky scored her 100th high school lacrosse goal. The game was against Pine Creek, the bears won 5-13. Currently, Jansky leads the team in shots on goal, assists per game, goals per game, and shot percentage.

Katie Miller is a senior at Palmer Ridge who is enjoying playing tennis with her friends and excelling at the sport. Miller participates in doubles tennis, meaning that she plays with a teammate on the court, and is currently playing in the doubles one position for Palmer Ridge. Miller also participates in Field Hockey and is proud to represent her school on the field and the court.

Dawn Dikgalee, happy before taking a serve. Photo by Lauren Russo.

Jenna Buckingham is a freshamn tennis player, and she joined to stay fit, have fun, and be with her friends. Both Miller and Buckingham started playing Tennis in High School, and have loved it ever since.

For her first season, Buckingham is a doubles player on JV. At the end of the season, she wants to be confident enough to play singles, and to get better. This season, both Miller and Buckingham want to improve their play in order to be the best possble tennis players they can be!

Miller is enrolled this year in 5 AP classes. Computer science A, Physics, Psychology, Calculus AB, and Literature and Composition. As a student athlete, it can be challenging to keep up with sports and school. As she balances being a student-athlete, Miller said that the key is time management. She said that staying ahead, and to not procrastinate doing work is very important. This year, the girl’s varsity tennis team have advanced to team state for the first time, and still have individual state as well.

Girls on the Ridge is a newly founded, non-profit organization that is focused on providing and aiding female athletes. The organization is a female-ran program and wants to aid field hockey, softball, gymnastics, wrestling, basketball, soccer, golf, volleyball, and lacrosse.

Lindsey Leiker, the fundraising coordinator for the organization is excited for the future of female athletes in her community. Along with her husband, and many other members of the board, Leiker is planning to balance the support and ability of female to male athletes. To aid the organization, they will be holding community tournaments; dodgeball, kickball, and more. They will also be looking for community and large business sponsors.

Jennicca Mabe, the president of organization has already reached the community on a wide spread. Two board members, Ashley Falk and Josey Leiker are students at Palmer Ridge. Their role holds a large part of bringing in information, current ideas and feedback of the student-athlete population.

The board also includes parents of athletes that have seen the difference of female and male athletes. April and Karl Falk, are parents to two current Palmer Ridge athletes, and one previous athlete. They have seen how sports can shape your character, give experiences that you can use in the future, and how there is a higher probability of success after high-school.

Kevin Dreher a parent to three daughters, one that has previously graduated from Palmer Ridge. In simple terms, Kevin is wildly passionate about Girls on the Ridge and boosting athletes in his community.

Other members including Amber Newberry, Dr. Aaron Fraser, Amber Styrcker and Angie Dawson. They are also dedicated to improving their community and aiding female student-athletes.