Freshman Gracyn Haynes continues to strive in her lacrosse career

Freshman+Gracyn+Haynes%2C+a+women%27s+varsity+lacrosse+player+at+MSD%2C+clears+the+ball+up+the+field+after+getting+it+back+from+the+other+team.+Photo+by+Isabelly+Silveira

Freshman Gracyn Haynes, a women’s varsity lacrosse player at MSD, clears the ball up the field after getting it back from the other team. Photo by Isabelly Silveira

Lexi Dalva

Gracyn Haynes, a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, plays defense for the women’s varsity lacrosse team. Haynes was born and raised in Parkland, Florida and has been playing lacrosse for the majority of her life.

At the age of nine, Haynes began her lacrosse career by playing in the Parkland Recreational League. Since then, she has put in a great deal of work to become successful in her sport. 

“For me to excel in my sport, I have to get in a lot of repetition,” Haynes said. “For example, throwing and catching against the wall using my right and left hands as well as doing a lot of speed and agility training.”

Beginning in sixth grade, Haynes joined the Westglades Middle School’s lacrosse team. While the team was discontinued her seventh grade year, this did not stop Haynes as she continued her career playing for the Redhawks Parkland Recreational Team. When the Westglades lacrosse team came back her eighth grade year, she rejoined the team and was named captain. 

Haynes continues to push herself in her lacrosse career by playing on the MSD women’s varsity lacrosse team as a freshman. Now, as the season continues, Haynes advances in her teamwork, leadership and overall lacrosse ability. 

“I have definitely gained strength in my left hand,” Haynes said. “I have also gained a really good awareness of the ball and how to communicate where the important players on the field are.”

Lacrosse has not only helped Haynes grow as an athlete, but it has also taught her many valuable life lessons that she can carry out far past her time on the field.

“Lacrosse has taught me that if you believe in yourself and see a goal, you can definitely achieve it,” Haynes said.

Lacrosse has always been a competitive sport, and fortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has not significantly impacted that. The MSD lacrosse team has continued to travel to other schools in the area and conduct their normal practices, while still following the proper safety precautions. 

“Due to COVID-19, we try our very best to social distance at practices and team gatherings,” Haynes said. “We have to get our temperature and oxygen checks before every practice and game.” 

Even in the midst of the pandemic, Haynes makes sure to get outside and practice daily. At home, she has even created her own drills and goes on runs to keep her stamina up. When parks reopened, she began having self-run socially distanced practices with some friends from lacrosse. 

As she comes back from a missed season, Haynes is most looking forward to traveling and competing against other schools in the area. Being on a sports team requires commitment and determination. Haynes has continued to stay positive and put in her best efforts even when she feels like giving up. 

“To stay positive, I focus on what I can do right at that moment to make things better,” Haynes said. “If it’s out of my control, then we communicate with each other to see what we can do better next time.”

Haynes is viewed as a cheerful person by her teammates, but when it is time to switch into game mode, she is fully capable of putting on her game face. 

“Gracyn is a great player and teammate,” teammate Taylor Serbin said. “She is very motivating and is truly someone you can lean on.”

When she is not on the field, Haynes enjoys hanging out with friends and family, swimming and working out. She also prioritizes maintaining straight As in her classes.

As her high school experience continues, Haynes hopes to play for the women’s varsity lacrosse team until she graduates. She further hopes to get recruited by a Division 1 school.