On the Field: Emily McKenna

October 10, 2013 | South Tampa Magazine | Categories: Editorial, Field of Dreams, Sports | Tags: No tags found.

Wesley Chapel District Park

Home to various youth and high school athletic programs, this park offers nearly 145 acres of field space to Pasco County

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On the Field: Emily McKenna

An interview with the Tampa Bay Tribe club lacrosse player

When did you get into lacrosse?

My freshman year. My best friend wanted me to do it, but I didn’t want to at first. It looked hard and I hate running. I run like a dinosaur, so I refused at first but then I was like, sure I’ll try it. I figured I wouldn’t keep at it, but now I love it.

How long have you played with the Tribe?

I just finished my second year. I’m in my junior year at Wharton High School.

What’s the best stadium you’ve ever played in?

Probably Goodman Stadium at Lehigh University (in Pennsylvania). I played there in a national’s tournament with Gulf Coast. It’s on the mountains. You could look out and see over the trees and into the mountains. I also had a tournament at the University of Florida my first year and that stadium was beautiful. I felt like a pro player on that field.

What’s your least favorite field that you’ve ever played on?Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 10.59.55 AM

Benito Middle School (laughs)

Hasn’t that been your home field for the Wharton club lacrosse team?

Yeah, but there are a lot of holes and a lot of dirt.

You have the opportunity to play on a varsity lacrosse team this spring under the new state rules. How does that make you feel?

I’m excited to play on our own field and represent our school. It will be nice to be recognized as a sport and not just a club.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

We have a team song that we sing every season before first and second half. So far, we’ve had “Call Me maybe” (by Carly Rae Jepsen) and “Make It Nasty” (by Tyga). The second one is not a nice song (laughs).

Who’s the team clown on the Tribe?

Michelle Mack, because she’s so serious but very sarcastic

Who’s your partner-in-crime on attack?

Brianna Hughes is one of my main feeders, and so is Katherine Malyszek.

Why do you wear No. 31?

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 11.01.40 AMIt’s my birthday. I was born on Halloween. My favorite number is 11, but they retired it on the Tribe because it was the number of former player Derek Pieper, who died several years ago.

What’s it like playing at the Wesley Chapel District Park?

It’s nice because of the abundance of field space and goals. It’s nice and open.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully I’ll be playing at a Division 1 lacrosse school studying medical chemistry. I think it sounds cool to go to a school with a team and a set of friends and playing something you love.

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Field Facts

Name: Wesley Chapel District Park

Location: 7727 Boyette Rd., Wesley Chapel, FL 33544

Field Use: Wesley Chapel District Park consists of nearly 145 acres of field space, including lacrosse, football, baseball and soccer fields, as well as basketball and tennis courts. There’s also a fitness trail bordering the park that is used by walkers and joggers.

Team Profile: The Tampa Tribe Lacrosse Program has elite youth and high school teams that compete on a local and national level. The program has both boys and girls teams that are primarily comprised of players from the New Tampa, North Tampa and Wesley Chapel areas.