By Paul Betit
The new coach of the Greely High girls' lacrosse team is familiar to the Rangers.
Becca Koelker, who graduated from the Cumberland school in 2001, has returned to her alma mater.
The former Becca Lambertson played four seasons for Greely. Then she went on to play four seasons at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass.
"I never thought I'd come back to Maine and here I am," she said.
Actually, Koelker is completing her eighth year as a Spanish teacher at Greely Middle School.
Since her graduation from college, she also has been building quite a coaching resume.
Koelker spent one year as the junior varsity coach at Greely, two years as the coach of the girls' team at Greely Middle School and also two years as an assistant coach at Yarmouth High.
"When I coached at the middle school, I had a lot of the juniors who are on this year's varsity team for two years," Koelker said. "It was fun to come back to see how much they had improved."
OCEANSIDE WILL put its first varsity girls' lacrosse team on the field next season.
The Mariners, made up of girls from Rockland and Thomaston primarily, will become the fifth Class B girls' lacrosse team in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference.
This spring the squad, which includes 24 players, is operating as a club team for the second consecutive season, playing a junior varsity schedule.
Jim Leonard, athletic director at Oceanside, said the girls' team came about primarily because of the efforts of Angela Vachon, whose daughter wanted to play the sport.
"A bunch of girls came to her and said they wanted their own team and she made it happen," Leonard said.
The high school has no plans to start a lacrosse program for boys.
"To date there has been no interest," Leonard said, 'but if there is interest we'll make them do the same thing as the girls did."
According to Leonard, the school is only picking up the tab for game officials and transportation.
"The rest of the expenses are on their dime," he said.
GIRLS' LACROSSE is just starting to get into full swing this season.
The Maine Principals' Association set April 11 as the official start of the playing season.
Through Monday, only eight girls' lacrosse games had been played throughout the state. During the same period, 43 boys' lacrosse games had been played.
TYLER ELKINGTON, a junior midfielder from Kennebunk, has gotten off to a terrific start.
During his first three games, Elkington has 16 goals and 18 assists to lead the state in points.
Elkington helped the Rams, 4-0 after Tuesday night's 10-4 win over Marshwood, outscore their first four opponents by a 60-8 margin.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: