ROYAL OAK (WXYZ) — The Royal Oak Shrine lacrosse team is a prideful bunch, experiencing a season unlike any other.
“We’ve been a team that in years past that has been a grind it out, kind of blue collar team, do the little things and hopefully let the big things take care of themselves, so this year is definitely a special year,” royal oak shrine lacrosse head coach Ryan Jay said.
Special is putting it lightly, at 8-0 the Knights are enjoying the success of being undefeated, but also for another ground breaking reason, the inclusion of freshman Courtney Buchanan, who is the first girl to play on the boys team in school history.
“I was worried that I was going to be the underdog, but they really didn’t care that I was a girl, she’s on the team, she’s a part of the team, they include me in the jokes, the fun of the team so it’s really nice,” Courtney Buchanan said.
“She’s something special that’s going to be a part of our family and it’s just bringing her into that circle, we’re going to have more success that way for bringing in her and making history as well,” junior Conor Benson said.
The tight knit community that Royal Oak Shrine prides itself on certainly made Courtney’s transition that much easier, both of her older brothers are already on the team, so when the guys looked at the situation as a girl joining the squad, it wasn’t hard for them to accept her.
“We’ve known her brothers so it’s kind of like welcoming another brother, just she’s a girl,” Benson said.
“It’s crazy to think about, it was just a fun sport for me to play, I didn’t think it would be this insane. l’ve seen so many girls to such incredible things and being one of those people is incredible to me, to see that other people look up and be like ‘oh my gosh, it’s a girl playing a boys sport, it’s just awesome to think about,” Buchanan added.