Family ties: Davenport cousins leave mark on Riverton girls lacrosseJun 10, 2021 01:59PM ● By Josh Martinez
Megan (left) and Sarah (right) Davenport are captains of the Riverton girls lacrosse team and cousins away from the field. (Josh Martinez/City Journals)
By Josh Martinez | [email protected]
Riverton High School lacrosse and the last name Davenport have recently become synonymous.
This season, the Riverton girls lacrosse team features three Davenports: Sarah and Megan, senior cousins, and Kaitlyn, the freshman younger sister of Megan. Both Sarah and Megan serve as the team’s captains.
Leading the team has gone well for Sarah and Megan. Riverton head coach Jocelyn Dorton said the two have a closeness that reaches the other players and boosts chemistry. Dorton also said she thinks they are stronger together in their leadership.
“They both complete the other half of a really successful leader,” she said. “So together they make really good captains. They get the team really hyped.”
Lacrosse runs deep in the Davenport family. Along with Megan and Kaitlyn, Ashley Woolley, the oldest sister, played for the Silverwolves until graduating in 2019. Furthermore, Megan’s father played lacrosse at BYU.
Sarah said she’s played with multiple cousins while at Riverton and has enjoyed the experience.
“They all have different talents and they’re all good at separate things but they work so well together,” Sarah said. “It’s like a whole Davenport thing.”
Sarah and Megan attended school together since kindergarten but it wasn’t until seventh grade they began playing lacrosse together.
Megan started playing in fifth grade after her dad took her to a game and recommended she and her sisters try the sport. While initially hesitant, Megan started to play.
Megan’s father was coaching her lacrosse team when Sarah joined. Megan said she was excited to play with her cousin.
“I was comfortable with my dad but when Sarah came, I was like ‘oh, this is kind of cool,’ because we had family reunions and would see each other on the weekends and go to school but I had never been with her doing an extracurricular activity.”
While initially there was a discrepancy in the two’s playing abilities, Megan said Sarah caught on pretty quickly.
“It was cool to watch her growth because now, we’re neck and neck,” Megan said. “It was fun to grow up with her because we got to see each grow up while we were doing it.”
From Sarah’s perspective, maturing in lacrosse was much easier because she had someone she could relate to away from the field.
With both Sarah and Megan growing as lacrosse players and into captains, both said reaching this height has offered some great opportunities to reflect on the journey.
“It’s really rewarding because we’ve gone so long playing together that for both of us to work together to be captains and we have different strengths,” Sarah said. “It’s all gone so smoothly because of that, because of our separate strengths.”
Those differences are on display in their playing positions. Megan plays as a defender while Sarah is an attacker.
Megan said there are numerous opportunities for the two to connect while on the field such as Megan forcing a turnover and passing the ball up to her cousin on her way to scoring.
In other instances, it can help feed into the friendly competition the two have between each other. Megan said practices can get intense when they go against each other with Dorton commenting on the higher friendly intensity between the two.
Megan recalled a time when there was a loose ball and both Davenports were racing for it. Megan said Sarah was trying to outrace her and got to the concrete first but ended up slipping and slightly hurting her a leg with previous injuries.
Despite that competitive drive between the cousins, Megan said those differences play to their favor, especially when it comes to leading.
“It’s good because we both take our different personalities and work together to create a super awesome team and environment,” Megan said. “It’s super fun because I get to see her be a leader and I’ve seen her be a leader in our family so it’s pretty cool.”
The future is still unclear for the two Davenports but both Sarah and Megan are considering attending Utah State University and playing for their club team alongside Woolley.
Though the future is uncertain, their past isn’t. Dorton said both young women have left a big impact on the team that will help the underclassmen as they continue to mature.
“They both are really classy players,” Dorton said. “They both have respect for other teams and other coaches and they don’t back talk.
“So I think as leaders, they’ve really done a good job at showing these younger girls what a successful lacrosse team is.”