By Sheri Duff
Jane Baker is a leader. It’s the first asset that Champlain Valley Union (CVU) head girls lacrosse coach Hillary Arthur notes when asked about the senior captain. “Jane is able to lead her teammates with an enthusiastic attitude. She can get the team pumped up and likes to get the entire team singing and dancing,” the first-year coach informed. “I am looking for her to lead her teammates in the post-season by continuing to showcase the hard work and determination it takes to be part of the varsity squad.”
A Long Island, N.Y. native, Baker and her family moved to Charlotte in 2008. Her family includes parents Kristin and Donald; younger brothers Bayard, a CVU sophomore, and Teddy, a seventh grader at the Charlotte Central School; and a black lab named Charlie.
“I came from a huge lacrosse community in Long Island. Everyone played the sport. Once we moved to Vermont, I played organized lacrosse in the fifth grade,” said Baker. “I remember because my coach, Beth Beldock, made my transition from Long Island to Charlotte easier. She is an awesome coach.”
Looking to improve her skills and willing to take advantage of her opportunities since middle school, Baker played as much competitive lacrosse as possible including indoor clinics and summer travel teams such as Vermont Select, Rising Star, and Green Mountain Girls, to name a few. Her preparation paid off when she made the varsity team as a sophomore.
Last year Baker experienced the memorable lacrosse moment of her varsity career. “During my junior year, in a game against Mt. Mansfield my teammate Thea Weiss and I saw an opportunity as I was fouled to the right side of the eight,” she explained. “When Thea was on the bottom left side of the eight, we made contact and that’s all we needed. I passed the ball directly to her and she scored the goal. We call it the golden play.”
Now a senior captain, Baker explains her strengths. “My teammates come to me because they know I am very open and friendly and I’ll answer their questions,” she explained. “On or off the field, I’ll talk to them about anything.” And it is an accomplishment of which she is most proud. “Making captain is my greatest achievement. I have wanted the job since my sophomore year,” she offered. “I have been working towards it since then. It’s a great feeling to realize a goal.”
That’s a mature, constructive, and positive mindset for a senior lacrosse captain to hold when her team has a regular season record of 1-12. Baker would also say, emphatically I might add, “The score doesn’t not reflect our play. It’s not all about winning.”
And she’s correct. It’s not about winning, it’s how you play the game. This fall Baker will begin to conquer the University of Vermont where she has been accepted into its Arts & Science program. There’s no doubt that Baker’s talents, including leadership skills and a positive attitude, will easily translate into success in the game of life.