Newcastle’s Lindsey Anderson named US Lacrosse national youth coach of year

March 5, 2014

By Mike McQuiad

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Contributed Lindsey Anderson (left), of Newcastle, US Lacrosse National Girls Youth Coach of the Year, sits with 14-year-old Quick Styx player Haily Santorsola, the one who nominated her for the honor, at Seattle’s Kerry Park.

Contributed
Lindsey Anderson (left), of Newcastle, US Lacrosse National Girls Youth Coach of the Year, sits with 14-year-old Quick Styx player Haily Santorsola, the one who nominated her for the honor, at Seattle’s Kerry Park.

Newcastle resident and youth lacrosse coach Lindsey Anderson has been named by US Lacrosse as its 2013 National Girls Youth Coach of the Year.

Anderson, a middle school girls coach and youth coach mentor with the Quick Styx youth lacrosse program on Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill, was nominated for the honor by a 14-year-old player on her middle school team.

“Lindsey has a love for the game that I cannot explain. She has put her heart and all of her efforts into making this season a productive, fun and amazing time,” wrote Haily Santorsola, one of three eighth-graders from Seattle’s St. Anne School that play for Anderson, in her nomination letter to US Lacrosse.

Anderson was selected as the nation’s top girls youth coach for her ability to connect with her players and demonstrate a deep understanding of the importance of sportsmanship in molding young lives.

The honor came as a complete surprise for Anderson, who got her start in lacrosse as a Bellevue High School senior winning the 2003 state championship in just her first year in the sport.

“I was stunned and excited,” said Anderson, one of 12 coaches with the Quick Styx youth program. “I didn’t ever expect to be recognized for something at this level. I don’t really see myself as any different than any of our coaches. It just happens. It’s all natural.”

Anderson has an innate ability to teach and connect. Those skills have allowed her to build a lifetime of trust among the young people who learn the game of lacrosse from her and the parent leaders of the local program.

“Lindsey is a role model. When my own daughter started playing, we were getting beat pretty bad. Lindsey stood out as someone that we really wanted in our program,” Quick Styx volunteer director George Bergeron said. “She always kept a positive approach with the kids and the parents and put a lot of effort into making sure that we have practice plans, drills and a model for future coaches that come into the program.”

Anderson was a gymnast long before she found lacrosse. She was a four-year letter winner in the sport at Bellevue High School, where she earned a senior-year berth to the KingCo Conference gymnastics meet.

It was the burgeoning sport of lacrosse, though, that ultimately piqued Anderson’s interest as a senior in high school and beyond.

“I had friends that played lacrosse. I didn’t know that they played other sports — but they played lacrosse,” Anderson said. “That was important. Being on a team where you are surrounded by girls and boys your age helps you be accepted.”

That connection bonded her to a sport that was struggling for acceptance and unleashed her dedication.

“Whenever I find passion for something, I want everyone else to experience it,” she said. “The friendships, the bonding, and the responsibility and learning are all what teamwork means.”

As an undergraduate at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Anderson gravitated to the school’s club lacrosse team, playing D-wing and midfield before taking on player-coach responsibilities as an upperclassman.

Anderson is working toward a master’s degree in education at Seattle Pacific University. Once she finishes that, she plans to extend her mentoring from the pitch to the classroom, where she hopes to teach math and science.

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