Witherspoon signs with Corban

Kyah Witherspoon plans to play lacrosse at Corban College next season (Submitted).

It only took one season for Kyah Witherspoon to develop a passion for lacrosse.

Now, she’s taking that passion to the next level.

After playing just one year with the McNary girls’ lacrosse squad, Witherspoon signed with Corban College to continue her career as a student-athlete. She plans to study counseling and psychology.

“I’m extremely excited. Corban is an amazing school. I love it there and I can’t wait to get started,” Witherspoon said.

Witherspoon was first drawn to Corban after attending a youth leadership conference at the school several years ago.

“I loved the campus and I felt an instant connection to the school,” Witherspoon said.

Witherspoon’s first year on campus will be the inaugural season for the Corban women’s lacrosse team, so she is hoping that she can to make an impact right away.

“I really want to work super hard to develop my stick skills. I know I’ll be competing with girls that have been playing lacrosse for a long time, so I want to make sure that I am getting to where I need to be so I can play at the college level,” Witherspoon said.

Witherspoon first showed interest in lacrosse her sophomore year when her friend, Kendyl Jennings — who’s playing lacrosse at Willamette University next year — tried to convince her to come out for the team. But Witherspoon said that she wouldn’t be able to play for financial reasons — lacrosse is a club sport at McNary.

However, Witherspoon was able to save money, buy her own equipment and try out for the team her junior year.

It wasn’t long before lacrosse became Witherspoon’s favorite sport.

“I just gravitated towards wanting to get better because I knew that I immediately loved the sport,” Witherspoon said.

Witherspoon played some midfield over the course of the season, but her biggest strength was on the defensive end.

“Kyah may be small, but she is mighty. She was a force for our defense and kept the other team’s best attack players on their heels. She was a strong defensive leader for us,” McNary head coach Becca LaFramboise said.

With a strong senior class, the Celtics girls’ lacrosse squad had a ton of potential for the 2020 season. However, the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled all spring sports competition.

Witherspoon said she was devastated to miss out on her senior season of lacrosse, but she’s also thankful that her career isn’t over yet.

“I got really emotional about it. After a couple weeks of practice, it felt like we were starting to get really good, so it was such a bummer to have it end this way,” Witherspoon said. “But I’m really excited for the future and I’m really grateful that I have the opportunity to play in college.”