WILLIAMSTOWN -- If there is any doubt lacrosse is a growing sport, the Mount Greylock girls' team is putting that to rest.
The Mounties finished last season with just 19 players. This season, 40 athletes came out for the team. Seventeen of which are seventh- and eighth-graders. That will allow the Mounties to field a junior varsity program in addition to the varsity team.
"It's awesome to see," said coach Lindsey von Holtz. "Those 17 seventh- and eighth-graders will be with us for the next five or six years. It's really important for the future of the sport and for our program."
While the future of the program looks strong, this year's team has a few holes to fill. The most notable are the vacancies left by Annie Flynn and Kristina Wadsworth. Wadsworth was the defensive anchor for the Mounties last season, while Flynn provided a gigantic offensive spark. The departure of Meaghan Albert and Rebekah Packer also leave holes for the Mounties to fill.
Flynn provided much of the offensive firepower for the Mounties. She scored 87 of the team's 189 goals to lead it into the Western Massachusetts tournament. She was the leading scorer in Berkshire County.
Despite losing four strong players, Greylock still has high hopes for the season.
"I would say we'll look to do really well in Berkshire County," von Holtz said. "I think we have a strong program and we can put together more wins this year.
"I think we'll be a stronger team. We will miss Annie and her goals, but I'm thinking we're going to have a more well-rounded team."
Returnees such as Chloe Anderson and Emily Greb will be looked upon to fill the void this season. Julia Whitney returns for her freshman season and Sarah Stripp will be a key defensive player as an eighth-grader this season. She is expected to be the only middle school player on the varsity roster.
Goalie Paige Willis is also back in action this year. She split time with Albert in the goal last year. Senior Alana Chesney and freshman Maggie Rorke should also be a large part of the puzzle.
"We're definitely young," von Holtz said. "But, a good portion of that youth played last year at least. We do have a lot of new kids, but also a lot of returners."
The Mounties also gained a few key players this season. Lucy Barrett and Kelsey Orpin both join the squad. Barrett is expected to see a good amount of time in the midfield. Senior Alexa Adams will also join the team, but has had injury issues early on.
The Mounties recorded a 7-7 record in the first varsity season last year. They qualified for the tournament before they were knocked out by West Springfield.
"I think we'll be a very strong team," von Holtz said. "We're hoping to be competitive in Berkshire County, but also with some of the Springfield-area teams."