Stephanie McNesby: Team player on the field and in the classroom


Stephanie McNesby

McNesby participates in the CACC Champion game her senior year.

Ms. Stephanie McNesby is the new 9th and 10th-grade history teacher and the lacrosse coach this year. McNesby’s decade-long competitive lacrosse career has taken her worldwide–from places such as England to here in Jacksonville.

McNesby originally played club college showcase soccer in middle school and varsity in high school, but after playing soccer for so long, she felt burnt out. When she had her next birthday, she took the money she received to buy a lacrosse stick and started watching videos to teach herself the sport.

From her first years to her life as a professional coach, “I think that [lacrosse] has taught me so many life skills that have made me better in every single aspect,” McNesby said. Her profound experience has taught her to be a team player on the field and in her life.

For instance, as a woman in professional sports, “Women have this diet culture, and we think our body should look a certain way and then we don’t eat enough and that doesn’t help our mental or physical health, it definitely doesn’t help in our performance in those physical things of those school things.”

After being coached, she decided to become a coach and moved to Manchester, England in 2013 to join the English Lacrosse Association, where she learned to coach her own players with them. She continues to use the coaching techniques that she learned during her stay there and hopes to grow her team this year.

McNesby’s rookie season game. (Stephanie McNesby)

“I know that a lot of the girls might want to play in college, and I know what it will take,” McNesby said. “The number one thing I find is like the easiest thing is when people are willing to become better and willing to do the work, and that’s what I see from the girls right now.”

McNesby found a family during her college years of lacrosse, and this is what she hopes for in her players. McNesby said she was able to make relationships with her college teammates, “We really became a family,” McNesby laughed, “We were like such a dysfunctional family.”

Whatever the challenges her team family supported her. McNesby spent holiday dinners with her teammates, “ I attended Thanksgiving with other teammates. Whenever I was having any difficulty you know with my family or whatever it was, like, they always stepped up they always helped me.”

McNesby encourages her players and students to make sure they are taking care of themselves and focusing on their mental and physical health.

McNesby made clear that she doesn’t just want her players to take care of themselves and others but the people in her classes to lead her to her goal of “help[ing] in their [players/students] journey of becoming really good humans.”