As an athlete myself, I understand that, sometimes, there are players who essentially risk it all for the game and the position. During practice, we are often reminded about the importance of acknowledging that, in lacrosse, our goalies risk their entire bodies to defend the goal. They may throw themselves on the ground, they may get on their knees, or risk some essential part. Kimaari Mondy is a Junior at Townview Magnet Center who has been playing for Bridge Lacrosse for six years now. From watching her play, I can one-hundred percent agree that she is one of the most hard-working athletes on the field. During games, you can see the drive she has in her eyes, and how important defending the cage is to her.
Mondy has not only played goalie but has also played on the field. Her first year with Bridge she was an attacker who moved the ball well but after that season their team no longer had a goalie so she decided to step up and try the position out. We can all agree that it went very well for her; a destiny meant to be. VYPE-U got to speak with Kimaari about her career with Bridge and the transition from attack to goalie.
When asked, "How has playing for Bridge Lacrosse impacted your life?" Mondy said, "I can say that playing lacrosse has helped me with stepping outside of my comfort zone. Most of the day I'm kind of to myself and quiet, but once I hit the field with my team, I feel like I can be whoever. There's no judgment with Bridge; anybody who comes is truly welcomed with open arms." I find this extremely true, because whenever there's a new player, whether they come at the beginning or middle of the season, we make sure we introduce ourselves and take the time to work on the basics so they can get a grasp of those skills. Kimaari herself was very welcoming when I first joined the team, and now I'd like to say we're good friends; she's one of the funniest people I know. For Mondy, Bridge is like a second family to her. She appreciates the dedication Bridge has for things other than lacrosse. For example, they provide SAT/ACT prep books and prep classes, internships, travel opportunities, and Coach David is essentially a college advisor.
Bridge Lacrosse | Kimaari Mondy 2022 - Spring 2020 Highlights - Uncommitted youtu.be
I asked Kimaari a bit more about her reasons for success, and the way she worked towards this level of play. Mondy said, "I'm sure many people have said this before, but I truly think it takes grit and a certain level of self-trust that is needed in order to be successful. And to be frank, I don't think I did a specific thing for me to build up these skills, I just let time do its thing. I'm a true believer in change over time so I think through time and experience I was able to pick up these skills." I definitely think this is a very unique way to approach success because we always hear from others that it takes "very hard work" or "working every hour of the day" but Mondy simply believes in being a very patient athlete.
As a follow-up question, I asked Kimaari about the coaches that have changed her athletic career, and she gives credit to "the great Coach David" for her success. Mondy learned from Coach David that being a good lacrosse player isn't always about your skill level, but rather your mental abilities, building relationships, leadership, and what you can do off the field rather than on it. Although Mondy has incredible strengths such as her courage, nobody is perfect. Being able to understand your weaknesses is an important asset to being an athlete, and Mondy knows that she still has some work to do with her confidence. Which is one-hundred percent okay, because life is a work in progress.
As far as her career after high school, Kimaari is still deciding if she'd be best off playing lacrosse in college or not, but regardless of what that decision comes down to she knows she wants to simply be the best version of herself; enjoy life and accomplish her goals.
"If I make the decision to play, I simply want to break records and be a major inspiration to others. If I don't continue my lacrosse career, I want to be successful in college so that I'm able to pursue my dream career." -Kimaari Mondy
VYPE U takes a look into Katelyn Sclafani's lacrosse career, how she has been impacted by the sport and what the secret to being a successful student-athlete is.
Lacrosse is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing sports. Katelyn Sclafani, a junior at Southlake Carroll Senior High School, plays lacrosse for GRIT Dallas and Southlake. Sclafani has been playing lacrosse for ten years. She is an attacker who has sensational dodging skills, footwork, stick skills and speed.
All of these elements led to her noteworthy goal during the Steps 2022 vs GRIT Dallas game. Let's take a look at that highlight: Sclafani starts off at X, which is behind the net, and receives the ball from her teammate. She remains vigilant of any cutters or any open players so she can proceed to pass the ball, but she soon realizes that she has the perfect opportunity to score a goal. Sclafani initiates a couple of jab & stutter steps in order to confuse her defender. Because of these movements, her defender leaves just enough space for Katelyn to execute a perfect roll around the crease into a question mark dodge and score with just one minute left in the first half. Not only does this yield a goal but it showcases the level of perfection Katelyn's skills have reached.
As any student-athlete knows, sports become a huge part of an athlete's life. For Katelyn, it has taught her so many life lessons and the importance of working hard.
"Lacrosse has taught me the importance of loyalty and standing up for what you believe in. Through lacrosse I have discovered the importance of having a family-focused culture and always supporting my teammates. Lacrosse has also taught me to never ever take anything for granted because you never know what could happen," said Sclafani.
Through any sport we always like to find a way to influence, in a positive way, the younger generation and we like to become a role model for them. The next group of lacrosse players will make a big impact in the lacrosse world, just as Katelyn has done and will continue to do so. When asked what piece of advice Sclafani would give a younger lacrosse player, she said:
"One piece of advice I would give a younger lacrosse player would be to have fun. Enjoy every moment you get to spend on the lacrosse field and create strong friendships with your teammates because those are the people that will support you the most."
Sclafani has recently committed to play D1 lacrosse at East Carolina University in North Carolina as a Junior.
VYPE-U wishes her all the success in the world.