ST. CHARLES – Maddie Wiltrout’s one simple phrase still draws some laughs.
It’s grown into an inside joke for the St. Charles North and East girls co-op lacrosse team. Wiltrout, now a graduated senior from North, emailed the team as they prepared for postseason play last year.
“We were having a tough time working together as a team,” said Morgan Curzon, also a future teammate of Wiltrout at St. Ambrose. [The email read]: ‘If you should do it for anyone, then, sweet dog, do it for the sen-yahs [seniors].
“Even this year, when we were having trouble together, Maddie would say that,” Curzon continued. “It would make us laugh and we would remember that it is just a fun game that we’re playing together.”
Providing a spark with an email or firing clutch goals, Wiltrout, it seems, did it all. In 18 games, the Georgia native had a team-high 56 goals and 22 assists to lead St. Charles to a fourth-place finish in the state tournament this season.
For those efforts, Wiltrout is the Kane County Chronicle Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year.
As an attacker, scoring has long been Wiltrout’s forte.
“Playing younger, I always liked to shoot goals,” Wiltrout said. “I always liked to get the highest number of goals in games. I remember as a kid I had eight goals in one game. ‘I was like: Mom, I had the most goals ever; I’m never going to beat that.’
“But then I did beat it with 10,” Wiltrout said with a laugh.
Her lacrosse journey began in New Hampshire in first grade.
“The East Coast, everybody plays the sport,” Wiltrout said. “It was kind of something new, something I never heard of coming from the South. ... It was definitely hard to learn ... but I’ve always had a really determined mindset.”
Eventually moving with her family to Minnesota and then Illinois, lacrosse served as one of the constants in Wiltrout’s ever-changing world.
“My freshman year moving to Illinois, I kind of felt like I didn’t have very many friends until the spring, when lacrosse season started,” Wiltrout said. “I found my best friends, and they’ve been my best friends since [then]. It’s really great we made it to state and I made it to state with those girls.
“Having [lacrosse] gave me friends, gave me opportunities [to] meet new people.”
Curzon and Wiltrout became friends “instantly.”
“Even as a freshman – and you can tell now, too – she works hard and has great integrity for what she wants,” Curzon said. “It set a great example, not only for me when I was a freshman, but also to the younger players now as seniors. When you work for what you want, it really pays off. I think that as we [graduate], they’ll understand that her work ethic ... that is what you should want in a lacrosse player.”
Kane County Chronicle Girls Lacrosse All-Area Team
Morgan Curzon, St. Charles North, senior, defense
Shaye Fitzpatrick, Batavia, senior, goalie
Lexi Kiefer, St. Charles North, senior, midfield
Katelyn Olson, St. Charles North, freshman, attack
Julia Rein, Geneva, junior, midfield
Megan Steffey, St. Charles North, freshman, goalie
Makayla Thomas, St. Charles North, senior, midfield
Maddie Wiltrout, St. Charles North, senior, attack