Rech’s commitment signals growth for Hampton lacrosse
Friday, May 17, 2019 | 7:17 AM
The Hampton girls lacrosse team has done a lot of winning over recent years. With that, naturally, comes players choosing to continue their careers after graduation
This year, four players, including Hampton’s first Division I player, Sarah Rech, committed to play after high school.
It’s a testament to how far Hampton girls lacrosse has come under coach Kelsey Viets, and it’s something Rech addressed when asked about the maturation of the program.
“I think our coaching staff is amazing,” said Rech, who is committed to Akron. “We all have coaches that previously played in college. They all have the background and technique. They take it seriously, and I think that’s why the girls take it seriously.
“We look up to our coaches so much. I think it’s easier to learn from people that have actually played and came from college teams that had coaches like them.”
Rech is a two-time WPIAL champion who helps serve as the backbone of the defense, along with Allegheny commit Molly Wojcik. She chose lacrosse because of the team bond she felt as a freshman that has helped her develop into a team captain.
“It was the team that made me stick with it in high school,” she said. “The girls I started with; the upperclassmen were mentors to me. It made me enjoy the sport more. Now being one of the upperclassmen, it’s nice to see the freshmen like I was and treat them the way seniors treated me.”
Viets thinks Rech’s versatility as a defender who isn’t shy about jumping in on attack will suit her on a Zips program is launching its inaugural season. She also praised her maturity as a leader.
“Sometimes from a high school coach perspective, we hold these girls to very high standards and forget they are 16 and 17,” she said. “There’s a lot that goes into being a teenager when it comes to competitive sports, maintaining a level mindset and being able to communicate with peers, and also with adults. She bridges that gap flawlessly.”
Rech, who plans on majoring in business, was looking for a larger campus such as Penn State, where she would not have been offered in lacrosse.
“I like the feel of the bigger school,” she said. “I think Akron just had a lot of what I was looking for, not (just) in the lacrosse aspect of it. The lacrosse aspect made it that much better. It worked out in all aspects.”
Another major appeal is the Zips program entering its first season in the Atlantic Sun Conference, giving an unique opportunity many freshmen won’t have at other schools to blaze a trail of their own.
“We’re going to grow from starting as freshmen to ending as seniors,” she said. “Getting the playing time as a freshman at that level, I think that’s one of the big appeals to the school.”
Viets, a lacrosse alum at nearby Miami in Oxford, understands the opportunity Rech has in front of her.
“She’s in an extremely competitive conference,” Viets said. “I told her the exposure will be fantastic in conference games. This is a once-in-a-career opportunity.
“Any other freshman is going to be riding the bench their first year when you’re a recruit in a program with incredible depth. I told her, ‘You have an opportunity to build a foundation from Year 1 and have say all four years.’ And to play D-1 is huge.”