The Zen Master of Cape girls lacrosse, PJ Kesmodel started some serious fun inside the Vikings’ program while wining eight straight state championships beginning in 2009. Kesmodel had won four girls’ state titles at Mt. Hebron from 1992-95 and won the boys’ state title at Mt. Hebron in 1983. One of his traditions was the annual Short vs. Tall game, a tradition continued by coach Lindsey Underwood, who had won three state titles before COVID shut down the 2020 season.
This year’s game took place Saturday morning, March 27, at Champions Stadium under beautiful weather conditions.
“The fun part produces an intense game where all players scrap like it’s a state championship,” said Underwood. “All players blended together and it’s impossible to predict who will win.”
The Short team beat the Tall team 17-7. It was the third year in a row the Shorties won the game.
“If the kids aren’t having fun, they aren’t going to perform on the field,” Underwood said. “Lacrosse would become a job to the girls, and they would play tight. We want them to love the game and play their best, loose and relaxed.”
The players get together and come up with a creative team theme for the game. This year, the “Shawtys” were inmates, with black duct tape providing stripes over white shirts.
The Tall team wore colored wigs along with “jorts” (blue-jean shorts), which in a 2021 beach community are considered hilariously hideous.
Destiny Kusen started in goal for the Tall team while Anna Lopez was the Short team goalie. The second half brought Mikayla Lindsay to protect the cage from the Tall assault, while goalie coach Bruce Leibu put on the gear to face the Shawty assault on goal.
Coach Underwood, looking forward, said, “Over the next two weeks, we are looking to see the girls come together. The season is so young and there were no scrimmages, so we are still working on getting a rhythm. The girls are working extremely hard to play faster, and adjust back to our systems and patterns after missing last season. We have Indian River Tuesday [March 30] and then St. Mary’s (Md.) April 10.”
Tall team members were: Meghan Smith, Grace Wiggins, Tatum Friend, Riley Keen, Carrie Clausius, Mackenzie Brown, Anna Sullivan, Kayleigh Mault, Emily Monigle, Maren Buckaloo, Lauryn Head, Olivia Burkentine, Kayla Droge, Kelly Bragg, Kathryn Wyshock, Lexi Nowakowski, Claire Eden, Keara Parsons, Marley Dunlop, Destiny Kusen, Sarah Narr, and Rosemary Waple.
The Small team included: Molly Mendez, Allison Head, Natalie Pfaff, Ella Rishko, Montana Jones, Jocelyn Leach, Elaina Best, Haley Craig, Sam Ghabra, Mac Cryne, Sierra Manifold, Ally Best, Lulu Rishko, Lindsay D’Ambrogi, Grace Totten, Landon Diehl, Hannah Abel, Lindsay Rambo, Mikayla Lindsay, Anna Lopez, Ella Ruppert, and Lexi Truitt.