Lacrosse a wise addition to GSHS sports palette
When Roaring Fork School District Re-1 board members transformed the Glenwood Springs Lacrosse Club into Glenwood Springs Demons on Wednesday, it happened quickly and quietly.
With four quick approvals, lacrosse was added as a varsity sport at Glenwood Springs High School for the 2009 spring season. There was no celebration, just school board members doing their jobs.That was not the case around town, however. For lacrosse players, parents and coaches, there was a collective feeling of jubilation and relief. They were happy to be able to raise their status and join the high school and the end of worrying that their program would disintegrate without other club teams to play against.The school board’s decision saved a game, a niche of people and their passion. And it was a good decision.The Glenwood Springs Lacrosse Club, which formed in 2004, has seen a steep increase in participation every year and currently has 25 players consistently showing up for practices and games on the boys team. A number of these players – including Seth Carmitchel, Dru Avery, Nate Miller, Grant Wood, Mike Brunk, Conner Pawlak, Levi Sherman and Tony Bosco – are Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey Association players, which means they spend some of the fall, all of winter and all of spring playing club sports.
Some play football or another fall sport, but others haven’t had the chance to suit up and play with their school’s name on their jerseys. Now – even though some have graduated and won’t get the chance – many of them finally get to play at least some of their games as Demons. Club sport athletes don’t get the fan support, the recognition or the perks of being able to walk through the school halls a little taller because you know you are representing your school with how you play. With the Glenwood Springs Community Center ice rink lacking walls, it’s going to take a lot of money and time for GSHS to add a hockey team to its list of sports teams. At this point in time, lacrosse was the easiest, wisest sport to join the school.Not only was lacrosse a good choice because more kids will get to take the field as Demons but also because lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the country.
According to http://www.uslacrosse.org, youth participation in the sport has grown more than 500 percent since 1999 to nearly 250,000. No sport has grown faster at the high school level over the last 10 years, and there are now an estimated 200,000 high school players.That’s strong backing, considering that a major factor in adding a team to a high school is knowing there will be enough kids to play. The Glenwood girls team had less than half of what the boys squad did this spring, but with the sport spreading like wildfire and now being more accessible because it is at the high school, that number is almost certain to increase.Of course, I hope the lacrosse addition doesn’t hurt Glenwood’s track and field program or its baseball or girls soccer teams. It may take a few kids away and it may create a complicated field schedule, but I am hoping that all of the sports will be able to coexist nicely as Demons.Contact Joelle Milholm: firstname.lastname@example.org
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