All-News4JAX girls lacrosse: Bartram’s Ryann Frechette has become the face of the sport in area

Bears attack player has 2 state titles, Miss Lacrosse award ... and a year left to go

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nine months off from the sport. It was the lowest of the lows for Ryann Frechette.

The Bartram Trail girls lacrosse star had never faced such a physical challenge like she did in the spring of her freshman year. But within that devastating ACL tear two years ago was something else. It was a spark that went to reinforce just how much the sport meant to Frechette, who is a fitting selection as the first All-News4JAX girls lacrosse player of the year.

She’s been a star for the Bears since her freshman season, a year that provided a major high and then that devastating low.

Through it all, the attack player has been the face of girls lacrosse in the area. A University of Florida commit, Frechette won the statewide Miss Lacrosse honor and petitioned the Florida High School Athletic Association for the right for athletes to profit off NIL deals.

And Frechette, who just wrapped up her junior season, is not done yet.

Frechette is now a two-time state champion for a Bartram program that is the best — boys or girls — in area history. Frechette scored a career-best 135 goals for the Bears this year, pushing Bartram to a second consecutive Class 2A championship.

The only time Frechette hasn’t ended her season with a state championship was for good reason. She tore her ACL during her freshman year just two days before Bartram was set to face Vero Beach in the state semifinals. The Bears lost 14-8.

“I had prepared most of my life for that. I looked forward coming to Bartram throughout middle school to play lacrosse with those girls. We just all worked so hard. When I tore it, it was devastating for me,” Frechette said. “But I also learned so much about myself and so much more about the mental side of it which made me come back stronger. And our team I think also built from that. We built such a great bond that made us play for each other.”

That setback was difficult, but Frechette said it wound up working out the best way possible. The timing of it, while never ideal, came in what turned out to be the final week of the high school season. Frechette was out of action for nine months. Her first game of competitive lacrosse after the injury was with her Bartram teammates in February 2022. The time away gave Frechette a new perspective on the game and how much she missed being with her teammates.

“It definitely made me not take things for granted. I feel like a lot of people say this, you don’t know how much you love something until you can’t do it,” Frechette said. “So, I think it definitely made me realize how big a part of lacrosse is in my entire life and how much it means to me. Having to sit back and watch my team made me care about it even more than I thought I ever did.”

The Bears thundered back to the state semifinals. They beat Steinbrenner in the final four game, then clipped Vero Beach 8-7 for a state title. For Frechette, that championship was gratifying. But trying to do it again after graduation losses stripped the Bears of eight valuable seniors was the next task. Frechette said before the season started that Bartram felt a bit of a perceived slight from the outside. There was a buzz that the Bears certainly couldn’t repeat after such a massive loss of talent.

How’d that work out?

The Bears stormed to the 2A championship game again, then used two ferocious defensive stops by goalie Madison Stevens in the final 10 seconds to edge St. Thomas Aquinas 5-4. Frechette had three goals in that game.

“I knew she had our backs during that game,” Frechette said of Stevens. “That’s what we all play for, is for those type games. It definitely was a great game to be at. I think it just made it so much sweeter in the end to win a close game.”

In between all of her success on the field, Frechette is also a visible athlete off of it.

Last fall, Frechette was offered an NIL deal with sporting goods company, STX. The Frechette family appealed to the Florida High School Athletic Association to allow the opportunity, but it was denied multiple times.

Twenty-eight states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Washington — and the District of Columbia currently allow NIL in some capacity to high school athletes.

“That was amazing. I was just so grateful to have been given that opportunity,” she said. ”I really just wanted to bring attention to that, so I mean I hope it hopefully changes for the future athletes. I’m just so happy I was given that opportunity.”

All-News4JAX girls lacrosse team

Player, School, Class

Ashley Cotter, Tocoi Creek, Fr.

Big first season for the Toros attack star. Had 52 goals, 14 assists, 94 ground balls and 87 draws, leading the team in all of those categories.

Katie Cotter, St. Augustine, Sr.

Attacker had excellent final season with 62 goals for the Yellow Jackets.

Adri Ferrara, Bartram Trail, Sr.

Mid had 86 goals, 15 assists, 79 draw controls, 40 ground balls for back-to-back state champs. USA Lacrosse All American. Scored twice in state championship game against Aquinas. Has signed with Newberry.

Ryann Frechette, Bartram Trail, Jr.

All-News4JAX player of the year. USA Lacrosse All-American selection. Led Bears to back-to-back Class 2A state championships. Had 135 goals, 26 assists, 168 draw controls, 49 ground balls, 21 forced turnovers. Florida commit. Voted Miss Lacrosse. Has scored 350 goals, added 131 assists in three seasons.

Ava LaManna, Ponte Vedra, Sr.

Keeper had 136 saves and a 46.7 save percentage facing a tough schedule and leading the Sharks to the state semifinals. USA Lacrosse All-American selection.

Ruby Lynch, Ponte Vedra, Sr.

Midfielder was second on the team with 51 goals. Added 17 assists, 31 ground balls for 14-5 state semifinalist Sharks team.

Brooke McCoy, Episcopal, Fr.

Two-way defender/mid is a natural mid whose talent can span the field. Emerged big for the Eagles in her second season. Had 37 goals, 20 assists for one of the area’s top programs. Had 135 draw controls and 24 ground balls.

Lilly Melograna, Episcopal, Fr.

Rising star attack had an exceptional season for an Eagles team that was ranked No. 1 in the Super 6 entering the postseason. Had 61 goals, 15 assists for 16-6 Episcopal.

Sam Michlitsch, Bartram Trail, Sr.

Defense player had 25 draw controls, 10 ground balls for the two-time defending state champion Bears. Defensive captain of the team.

Maeve O’Neil, Episcopal, So.

Another bright young attack star for the Eagles. She had 62 goals, 20 assists, 16 ground balls and 12 draw controls for the Eagles, all career highs. USA Lacrosse All-American selection.

Skylar St. John, St. Augustine, Sr.

Mid helped the Yellow Jackets carve out a reputation as one of the area’s top teams and a 16-6 record. USA Lacrosse All-American selection.

Madison Stevens, Bartram Trail, Jr.

Keeper had 48.6% save average (135 saves, 143 goals allowed). Gave up just 10 goals in state series games and made 22 saves, including two in the final 10 seconds to preserve win over Aquinas. Colgate commit. USA Lacrosse All-American selection.

Lily Toole, Ponte Vedra, Jr.

Attacker led Sharks to the Class 1A state semis with team-best 53 goals. Added 14 assists and 54% on draws. USA Lacrosse All-American selection.

Honorable Mention

Player, School, Class

Kaitlyn Williams, Bartram Trail, Sr.

Carsyn Christel, Creekside, Sr.

Natalie Charyak, Creekside, Jr.

Ava Allamon, Bartram Trail, So.

Elsie Casella, Bartram Trail, Jr.

Stella Lynch, Ponte Vedra, So.

Kate Burhyte, Episcopal, Sr.

Audrey Schmidt, Ponte Vedra, So.

Seng Mai, Atlantic Coast, Sr.

Jillian LaBelle, Fleming Island, Sr.

Kaiah McKay, Menendez, So.

Anna Giordano, Bolles, So.

Cassidy Vandermark, Menendez, So.

Logan Wiesler, Nease, So.

About the Authors:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.