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Mandarin girls lacrosse coach says goodbye to team before deploying to Afghanistan

11:18 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's been a tough season for the Mandarin High School girls lacrosse team.

"I hate losing with a passion," Junior Elizabeth Bourland said.

The young team is 1-10 this year, their lone win against Paxon.

But for these ladies the sport is about much more than wins and loses.

"If I'm stressed, I go out and play lacrosse,"  Player Marni Sapolsky said. "It just clears my head."

"We have bonded as a team and gotten closer," Bourland added.

These two have played since freshman year, and have played along side head coach Keith Porter every step of the way.

"We love Coach Porter," Bourland said.

But no matter the end results of the games this year, their worst loss came Thursday night, when the team had to say goodbye to their coach. He's a Navy reservist being deployed to Afghanistan for a year.

"It's very bittersweet," Bourland said.

Before their game Thursday night against Atlantic Coast, Porter addressed his team for the final time. 

He declared it senior night, since it would be his last time with those girls. 

They still have one more home game this year.

"It's really emotional, now that the final game is here," Porter said.

"These girls are like my daughters."

"We're very proud of him," Bourland said. "We love him. It's great that he serves our country and we applaud him for that." 

First Coast News

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