Although she is the only girls’ director for the Western region, Lauren York’s diverse experiences will help her handle the New York State Regional Championships.
York began playing lacrosse in seventh grade and extended her career through college. “I played at Conestoga High School,” York said. “Then, I played at Gordon College, I helped start the program there.”
After playing field hockey and lacrosse in college, York focused on lacrosse as she moved into coaching. “I moved to Canandaigua, New York in 1997 and volunteered with the program in 1998 when I was having my first child,” York said. “Then, I became the first modified coach, we started a modified program in ’99. I did that for two years and then became the varsity assistant. I went between varsity assistant and JV for the next eight years.”
Although she stopped coaching high school temporarily after that, York stayed involved with youth lacrosse. “I stepped away from coaching at the high school level because all of my children were playing and my husband was a coach so it was too busy,” York said. “I became the youth director in Canandaigua because my youngest is a girl, I took over the girls’ youth program and did that for seven years. Then, [I] volunteered again at the JV level and also did the youth program, I just stepped down from the youth this year.”
During her time, York has made some long-lasting relationships. “I’ve coached some incredibly talented girls who I’ve maintained relationships with and they’ve come back and helped the program and I’ve gone to some of their weddings and I’ve just been really blessed to be a part of these young women’s lives,” York said. “Just seeing little girls progress, I’ve coached the same group for seven years and now they’re seniors and they’ve won a sectional title and we’re hoping to win another one, it’s really exciting to watch girls have a passion for lacrosse and work really hard at it and have fun with it.”
When the New York State Regional Championships added a girls’ side, York already had a connection to help get involved. “My husband, Deven, was a co-director for the boys’ side last summer,” York said. “I just kind of got roped in that way.”
She’s excited to see more young lacrosse players get to shine on a big stage. “I thought it was a really cool concept because it was so similar to the Empire State Games and girls I coached years ago participated in that,” York said. “I thought it was a really cool venue and it kind of got replaced by club [teams]. I was excited to see a New-York-based talent venue coming back.”
York is also looking forward to seeing some players she may not normally see. “I’m excited to see the different levels of competition,” York said. “Girls who are really talented but maybe are on teams who don’t make the state tournament but are getting a chance to play at a really high, competitive level against other girls in New York. I’m looking forward to seeing the level of competition.”