Lacrosse program may be on the horizon |

Lacrosse program may be on the horizon

BRECKENRIDGE – With all the athletic opportunities in Summit County, there isn’t much of an outlet for lacrosse players. The Breckenridge Recreation Center and a few avid local players would like to change that.

The rec center is hosting a meeting at 6 p.m. today in hopes of gathering everyone in town who plays or has an interest in playing lacrosse.

“Ever since the (annual Breckenridge QuickStick Lacrosse) tournament and even before, I’ve received a lot of phone calls from people who want to play,” said Breckenridge Recreation Coordinator Diane McBride. “The Front Range has just exploded with lacrosse, and in the mountain communities, we’ve seen youth teams spring up as well.”

The Avon Recreation Center recently completed a three-month youth lacrosse program that yielded almost 100 boys and girls ranging from third grade to high school seniors. Organizers there are eager for a similar program to emerge in Summit County so those in the Avon program have game opportunities.

“What we had was a skills camp, and it was very successful,” said Ron Moreno, youth recreation coordinator for the Avon Recreation Center. “We actually had a lot of calls from Summit County from parents asking if they could drive their kids here to play in our program. Some of the kids who showed up were first-timers. Maybe 50-50 were hockey converts. All of them wanted to start playing real games. I think if someone over in Summit County offered (lacrosse), we could coordinate something.”

Individuals who are running tonight’s meeting in Breckenridge feel lacrosse encompasses aspects of almost every other team sport, from ice hockey to basketball.

“Interest in lacrosse is really going up,” said Kraig Hamady, who has organized several informal lacrosse practices in Summit County over the last couple of years and competes in the QuickStick tournament. “We’re really looking to move it forward up here. It’s gotten a little more press with the Colorado Mammoth (new professional indoor lacrosse team), and ESPN is playing a lot of the East Coast outdoor field games. That’s been incredible for the sport to make it more mainstream. It’s great for almost every sport; basketball, soccer and ice hockey have a lot of crossover. You have to be strong, fast and agile.”

Ideally, Hamady would like to see tonight’s meeting generate some regular practices for men, women and youth interested in playing lacrosse. Close to 40 high schools in Colorado now offer boys and girls lacrosse as a varsity sport, and he would like to see Summit High School do the same eventually.

“We just want to see what the interest is,” he said. “The hardest thing about the whole system is Title I stuff, but we would still be able to put a men’s and women’s team together and get some youth programs going. We want to know who is interested in playing and talk to parents or anyone else who just wants to know what the sport is all about.”

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