Explosive Growth of Snoqualmie Valley Lacrosse Leads To Early Growing Pains and Quick Success!

Thanks to Kristi Wood for this guest post on Mount Si Lacrosse!  Kristi has taken on the labor-intensive task of fundraising for a sport that is quickly gaining immense popularity in the valley.  Her goal is to help make sure every child interested in playing  lacrosse can afford to do so.  Thanks Kristi!  Read on…

So what’s all this LAX stuff? You may have noticed a lot of talk around the valley lately about Mount Si Lacrosse or LAX (and no, I’m not talking LAX that stands for Los Angeles Airport!). Well there’s good reason for that. Lacrosse, a sport gained from Native American ancestors, includes both boys and girls and is one of the fastest growing sports across the nation. Snoqualmie Valley’s, Mount Si Lacrosse, is experiencing that explosive growth and some of the pains that accompany it, like a shortage of coaches, referees, fields and important scholarships that help fund the average per-player start-up cost (equipment and registration fees) of approximately $550.00.  But, through passion for the game and the hard work of coaches, players and volunteers, Mount Si Lacrosse’s High School Varsity team reached the 2012 state playoffs in only its 3rd year.  With the skilled help and development of Varsity Coaches, Woodroe Kiser (Head), Mike Dowling (Attack), Pete Schmitt (Goalie/Defense) and JV and C Team Coach, Tom Chase, the boys overcame great obstacles and had a monumental season.

An in-depth study in 2011 found that lacrosse was the fastest-growing sport in the nation; with participation up 218% over the past 10 years.  Here’s why: Players are drawn to the speed of the game and the active participation it encourages. Like basketball, every player on a lacrosse field plays some offense and defense. Players are constantly in motion unless the ball lands out-of-bounds. The game is fast and fun.  You have to be on your toes at all times, prepared for the ball to come your way.  Anyone interested in seeing lacrosse in person will have their chance next month as Mount Si hosts its first ever tournament, Mid-Summer Mayhem, at Mount Si High School on July 7th and 8th.

The phenomenal growth of lacrosse has not been without growing pains. One of the biggest concerns for schools is finding enough qualified coaches and referees to keep up with the high demand. Mount Si Lacrosse is hoping that time will ease this dilemma. The sport’s exploding popularity has also lead to a shortage of adequate playing fields, due to many schools having already committed their fields to other mainstay sports.  This year, Mount Si High Lacrosse was forced to hold practices from 8-10PM just to secure a practice field, as well as practicing on undesirable fields with mole holes and poor conditions: not the safest of situations for the fast-paced game.  Players and coaches are paying their dues, no doubt.  But they do so without complaining because they love the game and take what they can get – with a smile.

With constant school budget cutbacks, the likelihood of lacrosse becoming a school-sanctioned sport is on the distant horizon.  As a result, the cost to play  lacrosse is comparatively higher than other school sports like baseball and football.  Lacrosse loses a lot of players because of the high cost to play. With a struggling economy, donations are also very hard-earned.  Today, Mount Si Lacrosse is only able to keep registration fees down because of donations. Players are appreciative of any donations and continued support from the community.  If you’d like to contribute to the growth of Mt Si Lacrosse, visit www.mountsilacrosse.org/donate.  It’s easy to donate and any amount makes a difference.

Interested in giving LAX a try and/or seeing why lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the U.S.?  Visit: http://www.mountsilacrosse.org/about/ for more information.


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