This week on the #FridayFeature for Outside the Box: The Episcopal School of Jacksonville (ESJ) Eagles.

ESJ comes into their 13th season with Varsity Head Coach/Program Director, Mel Hicks (7 seasons), Varsity Assistant Krista Grabher (3 seasons), JV Head Coach Jordan Smith (5 seasons), and JV Assistant Anne Lamb Frye (1 season). As a private school in Jacksonville, the Eagles find themselves with the opportunity to allow 6th-12th grade girls to play at the Varsity and JV levels. This private school exception has allowed Coach Hicks to develop girls at the middle school level against high school competition, which has brought great success to the Eagles. The Eagles have procured 5 district titles, and 4 All-Academic Award winners, including a District win over Bolles last season bringing them into the Regional Playoffs.

ESJ is led this year by Senior Attacker and Captain, Stela Chepenik, who has acquired several awards in her career including: Captain (2018,2019), Team MVP (2018), and Team Most Valuable Attacker (2017). She also recently committed to play lacrosse next spring at Embry Riddle. Joining Chepenik on the Eagles squad are underclassmen standouts looking for another district title: Knox Greene (sophomore) midfielder, Winnie Pajcic (sophomore) defender, Izzy Ritch (sophomore) midfielder, and Sofia Chepenik (freshmen) midfielder. With this young, vibrant team, Coach Hicks is instilling the message of rising up through adversity, and competing at the highest potential.

Play to your strengths, work on your weaknesses. Have fun and always give your best, even on your worst days
— Head Coach Mel Hicks

Good luck in your district playoffs, Eagles!

Follow the Eagles on social media: @ESJGIRLSLAX



Next up for Outside the Box, is a team returning for their 13th season, and continuing to gain momentum towards the goal of capturing their second State Championship, the Bartram Trail Bears! The Bears are led by Varsity Head Coach Meghan Jackowiak in her 8th season as head coach, and 9th year with the program. She is assisted by Joe Fanning (8th season) and Nina Magnor (1st season), and joined by JV Head Coach and alumni, Ayana Davis (1st season) and JV assistant Megan O’Grady (1st season).

The Bears were the first NE Florida team to win an FHSAA state championship in 2016, dethroning the defending Vero beach Indians. The former Championship seniors, Kelley Payne, Karli Vockell, and Danielle Kelley, are all looking to lead their team back to the FHSAA state championships to finish their HS careers the same way they started as freshmen. With a strong roster consisting of a strong freshmen class, All-Americans, stat leaders, All-county players, and a Junior goalie (Madi Bishop) averaging a 47% save rate against top level teams, the Bears are sure to give anyone a run for their money come playoffs.

I’m so proud of the progress this young team has made. This team is starting to realize what they are capable of and it’s just the beginning.
— Head Coach Meghan Jackowiak

The Bears are going into their spring break with an 8-2 record, and looking forward to competing against two strong teams down south in preparation for playoffs. With a strong program history, a tight knit community with several alumni coming back to coach at the youth and JV levels, and a hard-working team dynamic, the Bears continue on their path towards bringing accolades and more exposure of the game to the North Florida area! Good luck in the rest of your season Bartram!

For more accolades visit:

Follow the Bears on Social media: @BTgirlslax



In collaboration with North FL Lax, the first girl’s high school lacrosse watch list publication is here!

The watch list began with social media team North FL Lax, which showcased the talented high school boys lacrosse players and programs within North Florida. Known as the “24 Watch List”, this list is traditionally limited to 24 players. However, our coaching community was extremely responsive and we received 27 entries! We are extending the list to include the recognition of all nominees this year to kick off this initiative!

Based on coach nominations, here are THE outstanding players to watch this season in North Florida. Thank you to the coaches who provided their nominations to make this possible!

Check out the list, and the notable player stats and accolades below!*

*Player stats and accolades as provided by the program head coach:


Devin Geoghagan
Stanton College Prep, Senior
2019 Captain


Hope Atkinson
Mandarin HS, Junior
2018 Stats: 138 saves with a 54% save rate first year in goal

Katie Vanderlinde
Creekside HS, Senior
2019 Captain, Mercer University Women’s Lacrosse commit

Sydney Brown
Atlantic Coast HS, Sophomore

New and upcoming talent in her first season as goalie


Anne Marie Hawley
Fleming Island HS,  Senior
2019 Team Captain
Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse commit

Danielle Kelley
Bartram Trail HS, Senior

2018 US Lacrosse All-American
2018 1st team St Augustine Record All-County 
2018 Season Stats: 45 goals, 23 assists, 68 total points, 5 CT, 6 GB, 2 INT

Karina Ortiz
Fleming Island HS, Senior
2019 Captain

Karli Vockell
Bartram Trail HS, Senior

2019 Captain
2018 Team Stat Leader: 54 goals, 30 assists, 17 GB, 9 DC, 3 CT, 1 INT 
2017 St. Augustine Record All-County

Laurel Dunathan
Mandarin HS, Senior

2019 Captain
2018 Team Stat Leader: 61 total points, 49 GB, 7 CT, 4 DC
2018 District 4 1st Team Attack

Stela Chepenick
Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Senior

2018-2019 Captain
2018 MVP
2017 Most Valuable Attacker
Embry Riddle Women’s Lacrosse commit

Taylor Rocha
Ponte Vedra HS, Sophomore
2017 Selected to the Under Armor All-America Lacrosse Classic team

Tierney Robinson
St. Augustine HS,
Team leader in goals


Aubriegh Furnal
Nease HS, Junior
2018 2nd in total points for team

Autumn Abelon
Stanton College Prep, Junior
2018-2019 Captain
2019 Stats: Averaging 4 goals a game

Chloe Surrency
Fletcher HS, Senior

2019 Captain
Accepted to Airforce Academy, UF, and FSU engineering programs

Erin Cotter
Nease HS, Junior

2018 3rd team stat leader in goals and total points

Grace Wiegel
Creekside HS, Junior
Team leader in draw controls and ground balls
2018 8th place in Girl’s Weightlifting State Finals

Karson Gruber
Creekside HS, Junior

Multi sport athlete (Soccer and Cross Country)
2019 Season Stats: Currently leading the team with 11 DC and 8 CT

Kelley Payne
Bartram Trail HS, Senior

2018-2019 Captain
2018 Season Stats: 29 goals, 6 assists, 16 CT, 21 GB, 6 interceptions, and 16 DC
2018 St. Augustine Record 2nd Team All-County

Knox Greene
Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Sophomore
2018 Team MVP

Lindsey Leuthold
Atlantic Coast HS, Sophomore
New and upcoming talent, becoming a threat as an Attack-Mid

Maydson Broom
Mandarin HS, Senior
2019 Captain
2018 Team Stat Leader: 172 Draw controls, 112 goals, 120 total points, and 93 GB
2018 District 4 1st Team Midfield
2018 Selected North Florida Region US Lacrosse National Tournament Team

McKenna Johnston
Atlantic Coast HS, Sophomore
2019 Team Captain
2019 Season Stats: Lead scorer, averaging 4 points a game

Megan Davis
Fletcher HS, Senior
2019 Captain

Peyton Greenfelder
St. Augustine HS, Junior
Team stat leader in goals
Starting midfielder since freshman year

Roxanne Vanhorn
St. Augustine HS, Senior
2019 Season Stats: Team stat leader in draw controls
Accepted to the University of Florida

Sara Rosenblum
Stanton College Prep, Senior
2019 Season Stats: Averaging 4 goals a game
Multi-sport athlete
4 year varsity athlete


Pedro Menendez girl’s lacrosse program is now entering into their 8th season, under the direction of Head Coach Paul Kirkly. Kirkly played lacrosse at The University of Delaware for 4 years, where he also began his coaching career in 1972. He is assisted this season by coaches Emily Murphy, and Doug Ramsey.

Believe in yourself and your teammates. Believe you can win.
— Head Coach Paul Kirkly

Coach Kirkly is excited about the season, as they are competing with several new players to the game after having a rebuilding year last season. Their current record is 1-1 (at the time of this publication), and are looking to capitalize on more wins and bringing more competitiveness and understanding of the game to their younger players.

Menendez has been a wall on the defensive end, as the Falcons are lead by defensive captains Molly Smith, Angela Ramsey, and goalie captain Ashley Fuentes. With a strong underclassman squad, Menendez will become a growing force in the North Florida area.



To kick off our first blog post, we are excited to feature a brand new lacrosse program in North Florida! The Samuel Wolfson School of Advanced Studies has added girls lacrosse to their athletic program, and is lead by Head Coach Jessica Fessenden and Assistant Coach Mia Rankine. Coach Fessenden played lacrosse at Royal Palm Beach High School and previously coached youth programs in Wellington, Florida.

We have some young and talented players, that is for sure. We are excited to see how things shake out.
— Head Coach Jessica Fessenden

With young talent in the ranks, both coaches are enthusiastic about the team’s debut season this spring. With their focus on establishing a solid foundation of skills and athleticism, Fessenden’s objective is to instill passion for the game of lacrosse, and empower the team to become competitive and resilient in their inaugural season.

The growth and support of high school lacrosse programs are critical to increasing exposure and strengthening the competitive landscape of lacrosse in North Florida. Wolfson HS is now the 10th high school to begin a program in Duval county; and the second to instate a program in the last 5 years. We welcome Wolfson to the community and are looking forward to their development!