Faithful, talented, unafraid
By Beth Volpert
Lacrosse, as a sport, has grown by leaps and bounds. Any sport, established or somewhat new, requires leadership. The Gorski family has been at the forefront of lacrosse leadership for several years with Dad as coach and daughter, Austyn, as a player, team leader and assistant coach.
Austyn’s love of the game has brought her the satisfaction of being sought, as a high school junior, for collegiate commitment as well as the opportunity to coach and share her faith by example.
Paul and Beth Gorski have two children who have come through sports at Grayson High School, Austyn and their son, Garrett, who is now a freshman at Auburn University. Maintaining a tightly-knit family while supporting kids who are well-rounded and hard-working is almost a full time job in itself. “It is very important to us as parents to be there in their lives and support their goals,” says Paul. “When Austyn sets her goals, she takes a very structured path to attain those goals.”
In high school, lacrosse is a spring sport, but Austyn maintains a year-round playing schedule on a travel team. While the travel lacrosse keeps her in great shape all year, Austyn also cross-trains to maintain her endurance. “Playing lacrosse is tough,” says Austyn. “It isn’t something you can just jump in and do without being in good shape.”
It is just as important to Austyn to keep her spiritual self in top shape as well as her physical self. She shares her time as an assistant coach to the 7th-8th grade lacrosse team alongside Coach Craig Champagne who says of Austyn, “She is a great personality for our team and a wonderful role model for the girls.” He values her knowledge and ability to maintain a positive vibe regardless of whether she is demonstrating for the whole team or working 1:1 with a player. “I appreciate her ability to be able to step out of the box and not only share her skills, but her faith as well.” Austyn is planning to share Christian Readership with any of the girls who would like to study with her from the team.
Even though Austyn is junior at Grayson High School, she has already given verbal commitment to Gardner-Webb in Boiling Springs, NC. “I would like to pursue exercise science and this choice will allow me to continue to be in a Christian atmosphere and still play lacrosse,” says Austyn.
Her high school coach, Janna Maughon had many great things to say about working with Austyn. As a coach, Maughon says that Austyn was a leader from the very beginning. “On the field or in the classroom, I know I can trust her,” says Maughon. “She is everything you could want in an athlete to coach.” Maughon says that Austyn is the catalyst for the Grayson Girls Lacrosse offense scoring 50-60% of goals. “Without her, we would not be as effective.”
Austyn’s family is of great importance to her and she appreciates all that they do for her to be able to be all that she is. Her mom, Beth, says that for their family, the traveling has allowed them to be together for lengths of time that many families might not have the opportunity to enjoy. “It is guaranteed family time and has brought us all closer.” Among their favorite trips was the Disney-Orlando convention that brought together top travel teams and college coaches for a recruiting weekend. “I have never seen so many coaches in one place before and it gave the kids a chance to show the coaches how well they play.”
As a family, the Gorski’s know that they are blessed. What they may not always see is how others perceive them as role models. Scott Hall, the Gwinnett Lacrosse League (GLL) President, who presented Austyn with the "2013 -1st Team All County Attacker" award for girls HS lacrosse at the completion of her Sophomore year sees the Gorski family as a testament to good parenting. “Austyn’s parents are solid leaders and phenomenal people,” says Hall. “It is understandable that their daughter is as grounded as she is; Paul and Beth Gorski are well-grounded people.”
Coming from a family that stays together by playing, traveling, worshiping and spending time together is often too rare in a world where activity can easily take over all free time, the Gorski’s have managed to maintain their faith. For Austyn, having that support and faith means everything as she moves forward to strike many more goals in sports and life.
Austyn Gorski inside the Manchester United Stadium