Everyone’s a Senior: St. Mary’s Lacrosse

Everyone’s a Senior


With a whisper, the Saint Mary’s College Athletic Department announced the “reclassification” of the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse program to a club program following the 2017 season.  The decision, the announcement, and the communication to the community have been unimpressive at best, but this program deserves much more after the blood, sweat, and tears the student-athletes on the teams over the years have put into representing their college.  

This 2017 team is resilient in a way that the first Saint Mary’s Lacrosse teams had to be, and everyone should know what this program has been about from the very beginning.  This class of 2017 is a special group that has been through a great deal of adversity in their four years, including 3 coaching changes, reduced scholarships, and a number of issues both on and off the field.  Now their teammates join them as honorary seniors in their final three games, as many of them are now playing their final season of college sports.  

In our Tenacity programs, we talk to the girls about doing their best when no one’s watching- how they train, how they study, how to represent themselves, and how they become a champion.  The 2017 Gaels have often acted more like adults than those who were meant to serve and protect them, and one of the most amazing things to watch has been the way these young women have taken care of each other and remained staunchly loyal to the school.  They have figured out how to separate the injustices they may feel have been done, from their whole experience at the school- and a number of the girls may actually stay to finish their careers as Gaels.  Hopefully ALL of them will have immediate opportunities to find new homes as varsity student-athletes at other institutions if they so choose, but the bond that this year’s team will have- this team of 20 seniors- will be something that lasts them a lifetime.  

There are so many incredible individuals who have been involved in Saint Mary’s Lacrosse who have also been driving forces in the growth of the sport in northern California, including women like Jill Malko, Jenn Morris, Diane Whipple, and Amy Harms.  

In August of 1999, the school announced the elevation of the team from club to varsity status and in articles at the time, the hard work of the athletes is celebrated, “The team has worked very hard for this opportunity and we are very pleased to have the chance to compete at the Division I level,” said club head coach Jennifer Morris. (smcgaels.com, release 8/23/1999)

In January of 2001, the Gaels Head Coach at the time, Dianne Whipple, was killed tragically, and the northern California lacrosse community pulled together to take care of the young women on the team then too.  The alumni from this program- from that era through today- have continued to honor Diane’s memory by coaching, officiating, and contributing to youth and high school lacrosse, but most importantly, they’ve stayed connected with each other.  

I hope that the legacy lives on, and that the current team can once again draw strength from their lacrosse community.  Nothing can take from them the gifts sports and their teammates have given them, because these things last a lifetime.  

So now everyone’s a senior… so let’s celebrate this amazing group of young women. SHOW UP AND CHEER THEM ON this Saturday on Senior Night at 5pm!  2017 schedule

From the Archives:

Varsity Announcement

Diane Whipple hiring

Diane Whipple Death

First Win of 2017

Written By Theresa Sherry
April 12th, 2017

Tenacity is Thankful for You!

We have heard from you throughout the year about what Tenacity means to you… this is what our Tenacity staff is thankful for this holiday season, and what it means to #LiveWithTenacity…
I am grateful EVERY day for the wonderful players, parents, siblings, and friends we have in our Tenacity family. It’s a positive, and hard working group that is committed to both the growth of girl’s lacrosse, and the character development that will eventually make these girls game changers in whatever communities they belong to throughout their lives. I am very thankful to those who have made contributions of either their time, money, or effort this year to advance our cause, and make it possible for girls to participate regardless of socio-economic background, logistical challenges, or equipment needs.
I also want to express my gratitude to our coaches, because everything we do comes down to coaches and fields. Our coaches are some of the best in the country in my opinion, with great pedigree, but also the commitment to becoming good teachers (on top of being former players). Every one of our coaches has taken vacation time to go to tournaments, spent days off from their regular work to be at practices, and put extra effort into providing feedback and mentorship to our athletes, and we thank them for it!
To #LiveWithTenacity, to me, is to LIVE FULLY every day. It means doing everything you can to overcome obstacles, to experience everything about life, on a daily basis- the high’s, the lows, the wins, the losses, and everything in between. Some days it may take everything just to get out of bed, it’s ok to use Tenacity for that… and some days, you might have a crazy schedule, and it takes Tenacity to stay focused, and to do a good job in your classes, at your job, AND in your after school/work activities. It often takes Tenacity to eat right, to workout consistently, and to take care of yourself. To me, Living With Tenacity, means embracing the ups and downs, and letting them help you become the person you are meant to become.

Written by Theresa Sherry, CEO The Tenacity Project, Inc.

Theresa Sherry: Mentor, Coach, CEO, and now…. Hall of Famer

NorCal Chapter of US Lacrosse Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Announced

The Northern California Chapter of US Lacrosse has announced Theresa Sherry as a class of 2016 hall of famer and we can’t think of anyone more deserving! Below is the write up about Theresa from the US Lacrosse website. 

Theresa Sherry grew up on the East Coast and played high school lacrosse at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Maryland from 1996 to 2000. In 2000, Theresa was part of the Bryn Mawr championship team which won the Association of Independent Maryland Schools lacrosse title in 2000. During that season, she was named first-team High School All-American, first-team AIS All-Star, and first-team Baltimore All-Metro.
Theresa played on the USA U19 National team in 1999 and was named to the U19 All-Tournament Team and Player of the Match.
downloadTheresa’s four years at Princeton (2000-04) were full of honors and accolades. During her college career, the Tigers won national championships in 2002 and 2003 and the Ivy League title in each of her four seasons. Her individual honors include being named Ivy League Player of the Year in 2000 and being selected as a 2nd-team All-American in 2001 and 1st team All-American from 2002-2004.  She was nominated to be captain of the team from 2003 to 2004 and named the IWLCA Midfield Player of the Year in 2004. She was also named to the All-Ivy League All-Star team all four years and was a Tewaarton Finalist in 2000.
Theresa continued her influence and impact on the game of lacrosse in Northern usl_theresa_sherry_cal_verdict_photographyCalifornia after her playing years. She was the head coach at the University of California from 2007 to 2012. But she has made the most significant impact in growing the game of women’s lacrosse at the youth and high school level on the west coast when she began her company, The Tenacity Project (formerly Sherry Sports), a non-profit organization that reaches thousands of girls.

img_9332Her efforts in the Northern California area have helped to run teams, clinics, camps, coaches education, and more. She is one of the most respected people in the game for her professionalism, dedication, determination, and love in which she instills in all the girls and families that she touches.

Theresa lives in Emeryville, and is the CEO of the Tenacity Project.

Click HERE to view the US Lacrosse page. 

US Lacrosse PE Event

“With this opportunity to teach these PE instructors, we were able to reach thousands of more kids through the sport of lacrosse and spread the Tenacity way.”

14462848_1797428543838759_1459363976406100673_nLast Friday, the Tenacity Project taught 25 elementary and middle school PE teachers the sport of lacrosse at Cal High School in San Ramon. With Wendy Kridel leading the charge, the Tenacity Staff taught 25 teachers the ins and outs of lacrosse. We had a three hour session that went through the basics of the sport (with a few modifications) so the sport could be taught in PE classes across the Bay Area. Each teacher that attended the session not only got training from our Full Time Staff, but received reading material and a set of gear donated by US Lacrosse which will allow these teachers to teach lacrosse to their students. With this opportunity to teach these PE instructors, we were able to reach thousands of more kids through the sport of lacrosse and spread the Tenacity way. 



For more pictures from the event visit our Facebook page HERE

Going for Gold

Going for Gold: Texas Children’s Hospitalimg_9617

Through community outreach events we empower our players to be in tune with their community and reach those who truly need our support.

Last Sunday, Tenacity Houston partnered with Texas Children’s Hospital to promote “Going Gold,” a program working to heighten awareness of Childhood Cancer. We asked all of our girls to wear gold to practice on Sunday and had some fun props, a photo cut out board, and signs from Texas Children’s with the #GoingGold and #NoOneFightsAlone insignia. The hope is after posting all our pictures from practice with the hashtags, Texas Children’s, the boys and girls in the hospital, along with their families will be able to view the pics of our crazy kids and feel the love and support of their community, AND hopefully have a laugh too. The girls absolutely LOVED being a part of such a great cause and it made for an amazing day of practices! Through community outreach events we empower our players to be in tune with their community and reach those who truly need our support. We hope that through Tenacity’s support and pictures the children at the Texas Hospital know that “No One Fights Alone.”


img_9620 img_9619img_9622



img_9621Texas Children’s Hospital’s mission is to create a healthier future for children and women throughout our global community by leading in patient care, education and research. With over 7,500 patients seen everyday, each one is a unique opportunity and challenge to provide better care to every infant, child and woman that comes through our doors. Patient care is job one and is at the core of everything we do. By always keeping patients in mind, we discover new ways to move our field forward.
Texas Children’s believes in leading tirelessly. Everyday, we work to extend our reach around the globe to find new and improved ways to help children and women get the care they deserve. We are never restricted by what has been done before, and embrace that freedom to discover better methods. We are consistently recognized for our accomplishments and have been ranked the 4th Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report in the nation in a relatively short 60 years.


The Tenacity Project: Game Changer Program

The Tenacity Project: Game Changer Program
Empowering One Girl at a Time


The Tenacity Project is excited to announce the launch of our Game Changer Program.  Beginning September 15th, donors will have the opportunity to sponsor a girl to “Play with Tenacity.” The Tenacity Project is a non-profit organization on a mission to empower, educate, and inspire girls through the sport of lacrosse and that work is made possible, in part, by the generous donations of our supporters at every level. The Game Changer Program will connect girls who want to grow and learn with the people in our community who want to provide opportunities for them to reach their potential. Tenacity CEO founder Theresa Sherry says it best,

I think Tenacity has been a ‘game changer’ in girls’ lives and this donation program will, in turn, enhance the impact The Tenacity Project has, like a player on the field taking over in a tough game. It will allow individual sponsors to have a direct effect on the ‘game.’”

We believe that we can help young women navigate life’s challenges by providing a supportive environment in which they can develop the necessary tools for becoming successful on and off the field.  Through these athletic and extracurricular programs, we help student-athletes become adept at goal setting, problem solving, performing under pressure, and working well with others. It is important that our athletes learn to compete hard but also gain an understanding of how to win and lose with class and grace.  Overall, we seek to use sports as a vehicle for teaching valuable life lessons to girls of all ages and as a way to help girls cope with all of life’s challenges, but sometimes the girls who most desire that vehicle can’t afford it on their own. Your donation will help us expand our programs to reach a wider audience and build a stronger community.


Here are the Game Changer Sponsorship Levels:

  • Hall of Fame : $6,000 (pays for one girl’s entire team fees for one year)

  • All-American: $3,000

  • Most Valuable Player: $1,500

  • Captain: $500

  • Teammate: Other


An Eighth Grader, who received financial aid, said the following about her experience with the Tenacity project,

“I can honestly say trying out, and being a part of the Tenacity Program was one of the best decisions I ever made. Beyond lacrosse, Tenacity has taught me proper sportsmanship, how to network and communicate effectively, and it has brought me closer to people that I consider great friends and mentors.  Over the past two years a lot has happened in my life and Tenacity has really helped me direct all of my pent up emotions to something productive and positive. The people that I have met through this program inspire me not only on the field but off it as well. Their ambition and kindness are the reasons I joined the program, and I strive to follow their example welcoming new players the same way they did.”  


We are proud to say that the Tenacity Project has and will continue to provide financial aid to over 90 girls in 2016. With your help, we can reach dozens more girls from first through twelfth grade. We’re asking everyone—whether you’ve experienced the tremendous impact Tenacity has had on your own daughter, or simply believe in the power of sports to empower young women across the nation—to participate in our Game Changer Program and help us change lives, one girl at a time.  
For more information on sponsorship levels and spreading the Tenacity movement, please email whitneymasters@tenacityproject.org or visit our Game Changer Page HERE.

The Tenacity Project & One Love: Partnering for Social Change

The Tenacity Project & One Love: Partnering for Social Change

The Tenacity Project is partnering with the One Love Foundation to educate, empower and activate young people to end relationship violence.  The Tenacity Project is on a mission to provide opportunities to girls both on and off the lacrosse field, helping them develop the tools they need to be independent, confident, successful young women and make the choices they need to sustain healthy, happy lives.  We seek to use sports as a vehicle for teaching valuable life lessons to girls of all ages and we are honored to work with the One Love Foundation to spread its message of empowerment.

The One Love Foundation, founded in 2010, is bringing the conversation about relationship violence to college campuses and high schools across the nation, ensuring that students know how to recognize and end unhealthy or dangerous relationships.  They utilize social media and digital shorts, while prompting community action through Escalation Workshops and the Yards for Yeardley event.  One Love has held nearly 900 Escalation Workshops, engaging over 50,000 participants in an honest conversation about abusive relationships.

On July 30th, Tenacity seniors will take part in an Escalation Workshop. They will have the opportunity to train as peer facilitators, leading younger players in workshops addressing a wide range of relationship issues and bringing that training with them as they move beyond high school.  Many high school and middle school students are experiencing relationships for the first time, or will be in the near future.  Many are attempting to understand what a relationship can or should look like—what kind of behavior is right or acceptable, and what isn’t.  What’s good and healthy love, and what’s unhealthy or violent obsession.  We are thrilled to work with the One Love Foundation to bring this essential conversation to the Tenacity family, helping our players come together as strong women both on and off the field—educated, empowered, and fearless.

Celebrate our partnership by visiting the One Love tent at Summer Splash this weekend and asking for more information on joining the movement to end relationship violence.

The One Love Foundation in honor of Yeardley Love, was created in 2010 to honor the memory of Yeardley Love, a UVA senior who was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend just weeks before graduation. After her death, Yeardley’s family and friends were surprised to learn the statistics – that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in this country will be in a violent relationship in his or her lifetime and that young women ages 16-24 are at 3x greater risk. Today, One Love’s ambitious goal is to end relationship violence by educating, empowering and activating young people in a movement for social change. To achieve this, One Love develops creative technology-based tools and resources that meet young people where they are and inspire them to action. For more information, please visit www.joinonelove.org

England U19 team vs. Tenacity Portland

This past weekend our Tenacity Elite teams participated in the Grind tournament in Philadelphia. Our Tenacity Portland 17/18 team got the chance to play against England’s U19 team and below England highlighted our game as being their toughest competition. Way to #PlayWithTenacity Portland and represent!! 

England U19 USA Tour Blog 

Day 1

Today we all met at Heathrow Terminal 5, for our 7 hour flight to Philadelphia, USA. We said our goodbyes and the excitement of going to America began, as a mass of England kitted girls checked in. We numbered off and through the security we went. After some food and shopping we re-grouped, before making our way to our gate, where we were devastated to witness Federer lose his place in the Wimbledon final. We then took buses to the plane where we boarded, ready for departure. After a slight delay we finally took off. TVs were packed full of loads of new release films, we were fed, a little sleep and soon enough we started out decent into Philadelphia. Greeted by Zag sports and Hannah Thurston, who was already out here attending lacrosse camps, we then headed to West Chester University Halls. Once checked in it was straight to bed, to be ready and raring to go for our first tournament day tomorrow! Here we go England!

Day 2

After an early start, due to our jet lag, we headed to breakfast to fuel ourselves for a day full of matches. We excitedly set off to the pitches where we began a long warm up, to prepare our bodies following the long flight. The A team were first up, and after a photo with our younger fans, we had our team talk before getting on the pitch to start our first game. We won convincingly 13-4. The B team then headed over to warm up for there first match, which disappointingly was cancelled due to thunder and lightening. Sadly their second match was also cancelled for the same reason. The team handled this disappointment amazingly and with fantastic spirit and then continued to provide fantastic support for the As in their later game. The sun came out, and after another good warm up, we went on to continue our winning streak, winning 13-3. We returned back to the university accommodation for dinner and chocolate milk, before a team talk and an early night in preparation for day 2 of tournament play.

Day 3

The B team had a very early start due to the thunderstorm the day before, which meant all our were to be played in one day. After the rapid countdown throughout breakfast when bagels were made and wrapped to take with us, we set off for our long day ahead. In our first match we gave the Americans a good game, but we unfortunately came away without a win. The second and third games were tight. Both attack and defence units significantly improved. Nevertheless, the opposition were too strong. After a break for some food and relocating to a new area we were all ready and pumped for our last match. We went in with great determination and a desire to finish with our best performance of the day. The game was fast and the opposition were tough, and even though we did not win we played some good lacrosse and learnt new concepts. Our positive team spirit throughout the day was something we were proud of.

With the A team having had a successful start to the tournament on Saturday, we woke up full of excitement and ready for another day of tough matches. After a chilled morning at the accommodation we set off for the pitches, where we played our first game in the early afternoon. This was our toughest match yet, but the team worked cohesively and fought hard for a good win – meaning we topped our group. This sent us through to the semifinals, and after a team lunch of huge sandwiches and bananas we were ready to go again. Another great performance from the whole team meant we secured a victory and were through to the final! With only a couple of minutes before the final we took on board lots of fluid and after a group huddle we stepped out onto the pitch. We got off to a great start, controlling the draws and scoring some lovely team goals. We continued working hard as a team to end the game with a 13-1 victory and become champions! This gave us a great feeling of pride and was a fantastic way to start off the tour.”

Find the full article here: http://www.englishlacrosse.co.uk/team-england/england-lacrosse-u19-women-usa-tour-blog-30144/

The Way of Tenacity Explodes In Northern California!

Northern California girl’s lacrosse players made a major statement this week with the launch of the Tenacity Select Team programs in four Bay Area locations.  The Tenacity staff evaluated over four hundred players, immediately facilitating the off season play for girls just finishing their youth recreational and high school seasons in the North Bay, Peninsula, and two areas in the East Bay.  The idea behind the Tenacity Select teams is based largely on the desire to provide competitive off season opportunities for girls younger than the Tenacity Elite teams, for girls interested in playing more locally, and for multi-sport athletes that cannot make year round commitments to lacrosse.  There are also a number of great athletes who picked up a stick for the first time this winter, so the May tryouts gave them time to develop into Select team candidates whereas Tenacity Elite teams were chosen in January.  Following the last tryouts in Folsom next week, there will be twenty new teams operating under the Tenacity Project umbrella, serving about five hundred girls.

“It took us eight years to get to twenty Tenacity Elite teams (formerly BearLax),” says founder Theresa Sherry.  “This is a huge step forward for girl’s lacrosse in northern California.  The summer leagues and camps are also fun, but for top youth and high school players, we feel that development through teams is effective because of the camaraderie created between coaches and teammates pursuing common goals.”

Over a dozen Tenacity coaches work with youth and high school programs throughout the spring in the areas where they coach for Tenacity programs.  Tenacity Project National Director, Wendy Kridel says, “Having a core group of expert coaches who are connected in the regions where they are working, adds to the connection between players and coaches that helps build passion for the sport in each of those areas.”

The Tenacity Project is on a mission to use sports as a vehicle for teaching valuable life lessons to girls of all ages throughout the country.  Driving an increase in participation and parity in girl’s lacrosse is a key to achieving these goals, but working with large numbers of people does not come without its challenges.  “What makes this Tenacity staff special is the way each coach invests time and energy into knowing as many girls as possible in their region,” says Sherry.  “This is really a year round effort, not something that can happen in three days, and I was struck this week by the amount of care and consideration our coaches put into forming these teams.  I have heard it said that overnight success is ten years in the making, and in this case, I think the launch of these programs was a few years in the making, though it may look like something we pulled off in one week.”

The Tenacity Select teams will practice and compete in June and July, and a fall season will start with tryouts in late August and go until mid-November.

The last summer tryout will be at Folsom Middle School on Thursday, June 2nd from 6-8pm, and prospects can register HERE.