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Three Stephen Decatur High School student-athletes will be playing lacrosse at the collegiate level. Pictured, from left, are seniors Emma Meyer (Gardner-Webb), Darby Moore (Queens University of Charlotte) and Meredith Eitel (Saint Leo University).

(Nov. 26, 2021) Three Stephen Decatur High School student-athletes recently announced they will be playing lacrosse at the collegiate level.

Seniors Darby Moore (Queens University of Charlotte), Emma Meyer (Gardner-Webb), and Meredith Eitel (Saint Leo University) were celebrated with a small ceremony on Nov. 9 in the Berlin school’s stadium.

Moore, 17, has been playing lacrosse for 15 years. She plays attack and is a draw specialist.

“I chose Queens because of the area in which it is located, the programs that the school offers, and the awesome coaching staff,” she said.

She received both an academic and an athletic scholarship to the Division II school. Moore plans to major in psychology.

This will be Moore’s fourth year as a member of the varsity lacrosse team. She also played soccer for Decatur.

“This year my goal is to beat every team we play and leave a name for all the seniors on the girls’ lacrosse program,” she said. “I am so sad it’s my last year. My parents went to Decatur and my older brothers played lacrosse in the same stadium, so I’m sad that I’m the last Moore to play on the field. But, I am also so excited to see what this team has in store this year. Coach [Lindsay] Owens has new ideas to offer to the program and I trust her to bring us to the top.”

“Our offensive star, Darby Moore, is one of the most passionate lacrosse players I have ever coached. Her true love for the game is admirable and contagious,” Owens said. “Darby has taught me how to appreciate the basics of lacrosse, but has also challenged me to explore new areas, new drills and new ideas. She not only challenges me to view lacrosse in a new lens, but her passion for the game excites her teammates and coaching staff to be better and work harder.”

Owens said Moore leads by example, puts in the extra work when no one is watching, and strives to be her best every day.

She was awarded Rookie of the Year her freshman year, First-Team All-Bayside in 2021, and Offensive MVP in 2021. To date she has 45 goals and 50 assists, Owens said.

In addition, Moore has a 4.0 GPA, is a four-year Minds in Motion award winner, and a four-year WeXL award winner. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta.

Meyer, 17, a defender, has been playing lacrosse for 11 years.

“I chose Gardner-Webb University because it offers me a great education along with a competitive lacrosse program,” she said. “I have visited the campus multiple times and love the campus with its small town southern atmosphere.”

She plans to major in nursing and received both athletic and academic scholarships at the Division I school.

This spring will be her fourth season playing lacrosse for Decatur. She received Second Team accolades last year.

“I am so excited for this upcoming lacrosse season at Decatur. Personally, I am looking forward to becoming a better player and learning more from Coach Owens,” she said. “My goal for the team is to win a Bayside championship.”

“Another lacrosse defensive powerhouse is Emma Meyer. Emma has inspired me and taught me important lessons on perseverance and positivity,” Owens said. “Emma unfortunately started her junior year lacrosse season injured. She was on strict doctor’s orders to sit out for a couple weeks to let her body heal.

For any competitive athlete, this news is heartbreaking and takes great mental capacity to stay positive, Owens said.

“Emma did just that. She came to every practice and contributed with her voice, learned new defensive sets, asked questions, and led from the sideline,” she said. “What’s even more impressive was her perseverance to gain back her starting position on the defensive unit. She waited patiently for her spot and when she got the chance, Emma jumped at it. She transitioned back into her starting spot seamlessly and brought a spark back to the team.”

Academically, Meyer has a 4.0 GPA and made the Principal’s List four years in a row. She earned the Presidential Service award for community service as a coach and referee at rec centers, and is also a volunteer at Coastal Hospice. She is a member of Connections Club and the National Honor Society.

Eitel, 18, a defender, has been playing the sport for 13 years.

“I chose Saint Leo because of its location. I wanted to be in Florida near the beach,” she said. “I also chose this school because it is one of the top ranked universities in Florida. I like this school because of the atmosphere and once I met the coaches and team members, I knew I wanted to spend the next four years there.”

She received both academic and athletic scholarships and plans to major in education at the Division II school.

Eitel will also step on the lacrosse field representing Decatur for her fourth season this spring.

“My goals for this season is to have the best possible year with my friends and teammates one last time,” she said. “I really just want all of us to mesh well and go the farthest we can go during the season. Ideally, my biggest goal is to win a state championship, which will be possible if my teammates and I put in the work and want it bad enough.”

“Before I get to brag about Meredith and say how awesome, yet sassy she is, I’d like to thank her for being one of the first players to believe in the new coaching staff and our vision for the program,” Owens said. “I remember the exact moment it happened during a defensive 1v1 forcing drill. I told her to position her body to take the attacker’s right side away and force them to use their left hand.”

In Eitel’s head, Owens said, this made no sense because she would be getting beat lefty.

“She made that known to the coaching staff and it was the first time I’ve ever been challenged by a player. I explained to her the reasoning behind my instruction and the very next play she did it, no questions asked,” Owens added. “I thank her everyday for that moment, because at that time she made me a better coach. Every drill designed, every word said, and every game plan throughout is better and more purposeful because of her.”

Last year she received Second Team All-Bayside honors.

“We are so lucky to have this powerhouse back and leading us on defense with her actions and her words,” Owens said.

Eitel has a 3.9 GPA, is a four-year Minds in Motion award winner, and a four-year WeXL award recipient. She also received the Presidential Service award for community service, is a member of Connections Club, the National Honor Society, Rho Kappa, and Mu Alpha Theta.

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