When Taylor Papadakis first began playing lacrosse in seventh grade, she was not sure how far she could go with the sport.
Six years later, with a full scholarship offer to Asbury University in Kentucky to play the sport she loves, the Grapevine High School product is impressed with how far lacrosse has come.
Papadakis said that when she received the offer for the full scholarship, she was a little overwhelmed.
“I am very fortunate,” Papadakis said. “I can’t believe that I am able to go and play lacrosse for a school like Asbury. Lacrosse is my passion. I love it so much, and to get a scholarship from them was exactly what I was hoping for. The best part is, I am not just going to school for lacrosse, because it is a great school overall, and that really helps with my future.”
Papadakis, 18, said that her passion for the sport of lacrosse started when she was in middle school and said she still remembers the way she felt before her first game.
“My first game, I was super nervous,” Papadakis said. “I told my coach before we started that I was sorry if I didn’t do well because it was my first game. I don’t know what I’m doing, and I ended up scoring eight goals. So I got it down.”
Papadakis, a midfielder who scored 50 goals this past season, said she has been impressed with the growth of the sport in Texas.
“These past two or three years, it’s gotten a lot bigger,” Papadakis said. “If I had told someone my freshman year that I played lacrosse, they would have been like, ‘What is that?’ Now when I tell them that, they are like ‘Oh, you play lacrosse, I’ve heard about that. How do I sign up?’”
Papadakis said she never would have imagined when she first started playing lacrosse that one day she would be playing in college on an athletic scholarship.
The Grapevine senior said that her ultimate goal in lacrosse is to continue to raise awareness of the sport in the North Texas area.
“I could see myself as a coach, but I would really like to make it bigger down South,” Papadakis said. “It’s still not very popular down here. We have lacrosse down here, but it’s club teams, so I would like to see more schools participating.”
This will be Asbury’s inaugural season in the sport of lacrosse, and Asbury coach Rich Manieri said it is players like Papadakis who will help build the program into a winner.
“Taylor is a mature, impressive young lady,” Manieri said. “What she’s done on the field speaks for itself. Her leadership and character are even more impressive. Our lacrosse program and the Asbury community are blessed to have her.”