Hunting Park: Lacrosse Finds a Home in North Philadelphia

Becky Bannan practiced lacrosse in Hunting Park with the rest of her teammates.

Becky Bannan is a senior at Little Flowers Catholic High School for Girls. A seemingly well-balanced student, Bannan said she finds solace in a sport that is not typically seen in the city: lacrosse.

Lacrosse is a contact sport played in many suburban areas in the United States and has found a home in the form of Little Flowers Catholic High School for Girls lacrosse team. Bannan is a player on the team and described the girls as family.

“We’re a family, it’s great bonds between us. We grow and become like sisters,” Bannan said.

Lacrosse became the spring sport of choice for Bannan, she said, because of the sport’s free-flowing vibe and its foreign nature in the city.

“Lacrosse is fun, it’s a chill sport. Not a lot of city girls play,” Bannan said. “You don’t need experience for lacrosse at Little Flowers. You just come with your friends, try out and meet new people.”

Bannan and the rest of the team practice daily in the fields of Hunting Park that face their school, a detail that brings up questions of concern to some, said Brigid Donahue, the assistant coach.

“When people hear ‘Hunting Park’ they automatically think negative things without knowing how far the park has come and all the people fighting to improve the area,” Donahue said.

Little Flowers Catholic High School for Girls became one of the schools spared from the Catholic school closings that swept the city of Philadelphia last month, which will allow Bannan and the rest of the girls on the team to finish their remaining time on positive terms. After graduation, Bannan hopes to attend a university on a lacrosse or field hockey scholarship.

“I’m going to be a special education teacher, so I’ll study special education and early childhood development,” Bannan said. “Right now, it’s a tie between West Chester and Widener.”

The girls will have their season opener against Cardinal O’Hara High School on March 28.

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