Wootton senior learned lacrosse from boys, plays with girls -- Gazette.Net


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Thomas S. Wootton High School senior Marisa Cresham, from her family’s house in Orlando, has contacted her coach every day of spring break for the last three years.

“What can I do to improve my game today?” Cresham asks.

Through text, phone call or email, Wootton coach Kasey Marchwicki gives Cresham workouts designed to improve the player’s athleticism.

“I just find it excellent,” said Marchwicki, who also works as a CrossFit coach. “I think that makes her a step above.”

To Cresham, it’s routine.

“I enjoy working out,” Cresham said. “My vacation is normally working out and laying out and spending time with my family. I think that’s a big part of my life, and it always has been. So, I don’t dread waking up in the morning and going for a run. I think that kind of makes me happier for the rest of my day.”

Cresham’s lacrosse tenure began on a boys team with her older brothers, which wasn’t strange for her, because she grew up playing football in her front yard with them.

“They would treat me like a brother,” Cresham said. “So, they’d push me around, and they’d tackle me.”

In the boys lacrosse league, Cresham learned how to play physically, a trait she hasn’t lost. Cresham said she still has a tendency to play overly aggressive.

But that often pays off.

“She just had a way of controlling the chaos on the field,” Marchwicki said. “... Whenever there was a situation when there was a ground ball or maybe a little bit of frustration or when things go wrong, as they typically do on the game field, she usually tends to come up with the ball and keep the calm.”

Cresham, who plans to play at Yale University next year, has diversified her interests. For someone math and science oriented — she’s considering studying global health or natural science — Cresham has taken a keen interest in art. She’s gravitated toward ceramics in photography, taking pictures of nature and integrating nature into her pottery.

“We have my ceramic pieces all over at my house actually,” Cresham said. “My mom thinks it’s the coolest thing ever, because most of my family is not artistic.”

In the same spirit, Cresham is diversifying her lacrosse game, and her everyday workouts are a big reason she has the athletic ability necessary to expand her skill-set. Cresham still leads Wootton in goals, but she also leads the team in assists, draw controls and groundballs.

“You don’t have to always be the person that scores all the goals,” Cresham said. “You don’t have to be that standout player to make an impact. Assists are incredibly important. Ground balls are incredibly important. I think things that you might not notice for stats come in to play with me. I’m trying a lot this year to be that player that can get the ground ball for my team, pass it up the field, let somebody else score.

“In college, I’m not going to be that star player. There’s going to be a full team of star players.”

dfeldman@gazette.net