By Dan Ninham
Lauren Sheets, 17, is a junior lacrosse player at Lakeville South High School in Lakeville, Minnesota. She has committed to play at Concordia-St. Paul University.
“I am a descendent of the Prairie Band Potawatomi tribe on my mother’s side,” said Lauren.
“I have played lacrosse since fifth grade and play the attack position,” said Lauren. “As a freshman, I started on varsity and was named Rookie of the Year, Attack MVP, and South Suburban Conference honorable mention on my high school team.”
“Lacrosse has a very important part of my life and I have come to respect the aspects of the game as it is rooted in Native culture,” said Lauren. “Not only do I love playing lacrosse, it helps me bring native representation in the sport in teaching other people about it. Lacrosse has given me opportunities to travel and represent Minnesota on a national level.
Tribal core values define how student-athletes carry themselves on and off the field.
“One of my tribe’s core values is to show pride and support the endeavors of our youth,” said Lauren. “I believe this is important because I started playing in fifth grade, and from my experience playing sports at a young age can help build character and teach important life lessons.”
“Another one of my tribe’s core values is to promote education, and this is a very important aspect of being an athlete. It is also because we were always told that school comes first before sports,” added Lauren.
“My parents and my coaches have both had a great influence on my life,” said Lauren. “They have always been there to support me and to encourage me through everything. My mom and dad have driven me to countless practices over the years, and have also supported me at all my games.”
“Her stick skills are amazing, as we are often saying, ‘How did she shoot that?’ as she twists it up over the goalie,” said mom Jodie Sheets. “She is an unselfish player and loves playing with her friends. She thanks God for giving her the skills to play the game she loves.”
“I am blessed to have many coaches who have helped develop me as a player and person,” said Lauren.
“My club director, Krista Crandall, has been there for me since the moment I joined Minnesota True Lacrosse. Krista is always there for me when I need someone to talk to about my lacrosse performance and guiding me to become a better lacrosse player and a better person in life. She has been extremely helpful along the recruiting process in order to ensure I can choose the school that is the right fit for me. She sees my potential before I do.”
“Lauren can find angles on a shot that before Lauren, haven’t existed,” said Krista Crandall. “If she finds the middle of the ‘8’ with the ball, she’s scoring. She’s just a fun player to watch.”
“Go watch her high school team play, and you’ll hear the sideline all erupt with a ‘SHEEEEEEEETS’ at least a few times a game,” added Krista.
“I’d put money on the fact that she has taken more shots on her backyard net, than a lot of current college players,” said Krista. “She’s willing to put in the work and that’s what will make her successful at the next level.”
“My club coach, Kelsey Long, has always been by my side throughout my entire lacrosse career,” said Lauren. “She has coached me for the past couple years and is always offering encouraging words and pushing me to be my best.”
“My high school coach, Patrick Crandall, has encouraged me throughout the years and gives me advice on how to use my strengths to my advantage,” said Lauren.
“My lacrosse journey shaped me to become the person I am today,” said Lauren.