South Charlotte

Country Day leads lacrosse renaissance

Lacrosse is still in its infancy as a sanctioned high school sport in North Carolina, but already the Charlotte-area boys' and girls' teams are some of top teams in the state.

This year, the Charlotte Country Day girls' lacrosse team won its second-straight N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state title with a 20-9 rout of Durham Academy.

Repeating as state champs wasn't as easy as it might have appeared.

"I think you have to try to come with different ways to motivate the kids and keep them focused on something they have already achieved," said Charlotte Country Day girls' lacrosse coach Ed Burnamsaid. "But we had 10 strong seniors ... and they kept our whole team focused. We couldn't have played better as a team in our playoff run. That is a very rewarding feeling as a coach."

Myers Park made it to the public school state championship before falling to Apex 24-3 in the final.

While the western part of the state has some catching up to do in girls' lacrosse, the gap with the east is closing.

"We had a great year, and I was proud to get all the way to the state championship game with this team," said Myers Park girls' lacrosse coach Sasha Vedock, who played high school lacrosse at Apex three years ago.

Providence (state semifinals) and Charlotte Catholic (state quarterfinals) were also big factors in the playoffs.

Coach of the year: Ed Burnam, Charlotte Country Day. One of the main people in charge of starting the Bucs' girls' lacrosse program five years ago, Burnam led Country Day to its second consecutive NCISAA 3A state title this year, going 15-4 overall.

Burnam, who is moving with his family to Singapore this summer because his wife Nancy's job was relocated, said he will think about the great memories from this and the last six seasons of Country Day girls' lacrosse and be very proud of the way it ended for him.

"This team will continue to be great without me," Burnam said. "I was just a part of the program. But it's never been about me, it's about the kids."

Player of the year: Abigail Harris, Myers Park. The three-time all-state selection and four-time all-conference pick capped her 250-plus goal career with her best season as a leader and team player, according to Vedock.

Harris "motivates all of the rest of her teammates," Vedock said. "She really learned to be a team player this year."

Harris scored 47 goals on the season and led the Mustangs to their first state-title appearance.

Harris will take her 5.6 GPA to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she will focus on her studies and try to play on the club lacrosse team.