Laurie Usher has been synonymous with peninsula lacrosse for several decades.
Usher was instrumental in starting the sport on Bainbridge Island in 1987 and now hopes to have more of a hands-on approach to organizing girls lacrosse once again. To that end, Usher is stepping down as the Klahowya girls coach at the end of the season.
“I’m looking forward to having more influence as a retired coach,” said Usher, who is currently working with U.S. Lacrosse to put together a training program for physical education and recreation coordinators. Usher said she’s hoping to have that available to schools in the fall.
Usher said she’d like to see more strides in the sport on the peninsula.
“When we started in 1987 we started with three girls teams and now we have two,” she said. Klahowya and Bainbridge field varsity teams while Bainbridge also fields junior varsity as does North Kitsap. Gig Harbor also has a varsity team.
Usher said the teams in the county are on a downswing, but believes that will change when players from the Kitsap Youth Lacrosse Association are able to play in high school. The KYLA fields team for third through sixth grade.
Klahowya finished the season with a 3-9 record, Usher’s first losing record as a coach, but she focused more on the intangibles to playing sports rather than a win-loss record.
“As a team we looked at that individually and really looked at our hearts and how do we define winning and losing. Really, getting back to the real meaning of sportsmanship,” she said. “In many ways it’s been a great experience for me.”