Athlete of the Week – Senior highlight season

Senior Jillian Kurolvech closes in on Rochester’s net, May 13. Photo by Wendi Reardon
Senior Jillian Kurolvech closes in on Rochester’s net, May 13. Photo by Wendi Reardon

BY WENDI REARDON
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Senior Jillian Kurolvech reflected on her last year with the Clarkston Girls Varsity Lacrosee team as the team prepared for their MHSAA Girls Lacrosse Regional meet on Tuesday.
“This entire season has been a highlight,” she shared. “We have improved so much in one year. We have been able to beat teams we lost to. Every girl has worked really hard and has improved so much this year alone.”
She added she formed strong bonds with her teammates including her fellow senior captains Rebecca Stiles, Sabrina Parks and Marisa Jacobs.
After graduation, Kurolvech will continue playing lacrosse.
She was invited to play lacrosse in Germany this summer with Team USA after the head coach saw her play with her travel team. They will compete against other visiting teams and also have an opportunity to visit historic sites while Team USA is there.
Kurolvech added she looks forward to experiencing the culture and seeing how the other teams play.
“It’s different everywhere you go,” she said. “I think it would be interesting to meet different people, learn about their lives and what inspires them and how they play.”
Kurolvech will continue playing lacrosse at Catawba College in North Carolina and committed to the school last November.
She visited the campus during her junior year spring break.
“I stepped foot on the campus, looked around and it was a gut feeling. You know you want to go there – that’s what I felt,” she explained. “I knew this was the perfect place for me. It was interesting to me because I had visited so many schools and I had not had the feeling like I had when I went there. Then, I met a bunch of the girls on the lacrosse team and met some of the professors. It was the perfect fit for me.”
She plans on studying Environmental Science and Sustainability and minor in Spanish.
Kurolvech explained she is interested in water and the conservation of water.
“I would like to travel to other places and help people obtain clean drinking water and fresh drinking water because I like to help people,” she said. “It’s a main issue in a lot of people’s lives.”
She has been a varsity starter with
Clarkston since her first game her freshman year and added she will take what she has learned from the program with her to college.
“One of the main focuses that has been in the Clarkston community for girls lacrosse has been to understand what you did well but also understand what you can do better and what you can work on,” she said. “It gives you a responsibility on how you play.
“I think it will definitely help me in college and when I go to play for Team USA because I will be accountable for how I play and how my team plays,” she added. “It has been instilled me to know what I did well and what I can work on instead of walking off the field and not knowing.”
Lacrosse is natural to Kurolvech because of her Native American heritage and is in the Osage tribe with her brother, Ethan, and mother, Angela, and lacrosse was created by the Native Americans.
Kurolvech began playing lacrosse in a boys clinic in sixth grade before playing in the girls clinic. She began playing competitive lacrosse in eighth grade with the Waterford Falcons.
She added playing in the boys clinic helped her to be more aggressive.
“The boys is a much more physical game,” she said. “I used to be very timid when I played. They helped me be more aggressive and to work harder.”
She added a few things she enjoys about lacrosse include teamwork and being able to bound with her teammates with a common sport and goal.
“It doesn’t matter if you have played with them for three years or your first day – you already have something in common and it helps to bring you together,” she added. “It’s a sport focused around teamwork so you really have to get to know them on a deeper level so you can help to work together and reach your common goal.”
Kurolvech plays lacrosse all year for the Michigan Cyclones and also in Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association tournaments including the President’s Cup and Capital Cup. She also plays in showcases including the Southern Showcase and the Southeast Showcase, both she received special invitations.
She also ran four years for the Lady Wolves Cross Country team and received two varsity letters.
Her advice to aspiring athletes is to always put in extra time before and after practice, to work hard and perfect your skills.
“It’s important to go outside of practice to help yourself get stronger,” she added.
Her parents are Bill and Angela.

4 Responses to "Athlete of the Week – Senior highlight season"

  1. Kevin & Gwen   June 6, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Congratulations Jillian! We are so proud of you and look forward to having you closer to us in Atlanta when you start your college career at Catawba…and kudos on the invite to play for Team USA!

    Reply
  2. Michigan Cyclones   June 15, 2016 at 4:47 am

    Wow!
    Congratulations. Looking forward to having you play one more season as a Michigan Cyclone!

    Reply
  3. Ken Castagna   June 15, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Jillian congratulations. Good to see that you have the Castagna gene like I have. It must have skipped over your Dad. Have a great time at Catawba College, it doesn’t get any better than right now!
    Cousin Ken

    Reply
  4. Connery   June 16, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Congratulations Jillian! That was a nice article in your local paper and I learned a lot about you that I didn’t know before. You have worked very hard on your game and it paid off.

    Have a great trip to Germany – you should find it very interesting. Much to see and do. Hope your parents are going too??

    See you in August in Salisbury!

    Jill and Jack

    Reply

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