Raegan Dodson’s work ethic paid off.
The Highland School senior signed with the University of Hartford Nov. 20 to play women’s lacrosse for the school’s second-year program.
“I’m overwhelmed with excitement,” Dodson said. “I’m excited to help other people grow as a team.”
Dodson, who helped lead the Highland Hawks to back-to-back state titles with a 35-0 run last season, said she was drawn to Hartford because she wanted to make an impact on a younger program.
“I think I picked Hartford mainly because it was a fledgling program,” Raegan said. “It’s really nice knowing you’re going to go in immediately and have an impact. You can help the team grow more so than if you were on a team that just won four national championships.”
She pointed out that women’s lacrosse is not as popular as the men’s counterpart, but she wants to be a role model to bring more girls into the sport.
“I especially want to get younger kids involved because I know the sport is not as popular with women,” Raegan said. “It’s just really important to keep it alive and make it more evident that women can play this sport. You have to have a good mindset to do it and it promotes a lot of self confidence. It’s really important to me to try and help expand that.”
Dodson prides herself on her work ethic, but even she had to take a step back to decide if she wanted to continue to press on getting up early in the mornings to train to play a Division I sport. It didn’t take long to come up with the answer.
“I was definitely questioning it, I asked myself if I wanted to get up at 5 in the morning and go to lift sessions and go running,” Dodson said. “I’ve just been doing it for so long I just can’t see myself not doing it.”
Dodson started playing lacrosse in the sixth grade and has been on the varsity squad for Highland since the eighth grade. She saw her older sister Sidney play softball and decided that she wanted to try something different. She tried lacrosse one day and fell in love. Since then, she’s dedicated herself to being the best possible lacrosse player, while also participating in field hockey and swimming.
“I get most of it from my mom,” Dodson said of her work ethic. “She really imprinted on me that things aren’t going to be handed to you, you have to work hard for it for yourself.”
Gayle Dodson, who owns Delilicious in Downtown Culpeper said that she’s proud of her daughter accomplishing her goals.
“This is what she wanted and this is why she played lacrosse for, Gayle said. “If you want something, you go out and work hard to get it, and she’s worked hard.”