Center Grove girls lacrosse wins first state title with real-life ‘Ted Lasso’

GREENWOOD — The taste of victory was sweet for Center Grove girls lacrosse. The Trojans defeated last year’s state champion Park Tudor 11-7 for the 1A crown in a rematch of 2023’s title game.

“It feels really good to know we’re the first CG lacrosse team that’s won state. We really felt like we made history with this team,” said senior goalie Alita Fischer. “Getting revenge made it that much better.”

Center Grove was led to the championship and a 17-5 record this season by first-year head coach Craig Jarrett, who has been described by his colleagues in the district as a real-life Ted Lasso.

Jarrett played football at Michigan State under Nick Saban, and spent time as a punter in the NFL. When he was first approached for the position, Jarrett knew nothing about lacrosse. When he accepted the job, he bought Lacrosse for Dummies and brought it to the team’s first practice.

He also brought his passion for sport and lessons from his mentors along the way.

“At the end of the day, it’s a sport and the Xs and Os, that’s what I really love. Game strategy, trying to get the most of the girls to prepare them not just a game, but for life,” said Jarrett.

Any initial anxiety about Jarrett’s hiring by his team quickly faded as they began to trust him and teach him more about the sport they love.

“It was definitely a team effort to help him get into the games,” said Fischer. “Our captains during practice if Coach would ask about a foul, they’d explain it to him. The plays, they’d say this might work better.”

After starting the season undefeated, the Trojans lost five games, and needed to find themselves again. The larger schools taught them a lot about what it means to play at a championship caliber, and that’s exactly what they did.

“Throughout the championship weekend, I wanted us to go 1-0. As we won, it was about going 2-0, then 3-0, before we could go 4-0 to win it all,” said Jarrett. “It was the best group of girls you could ask for. We came together as a team, and the success just built on itself.”

That success is just the beginning for the Trojans. Though he is going to lose some great seniors, Jarrett is ready for next year’s group to keep the Center Grove athletic standard high and hopefully push for girls lacrosse to become an official IHSAA recognized sport.

And yes, he still has Lacrosse for Dummies sitting in his car with no plans to get rid of it.

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