Boys’ lacrosse arrives at MA

Boys’ lacrosse used to be a sport primarily played on the East coast. But for the past two years, it has been the fastest growing sports industry in the United States. Many students at Minnehaha know very little, if  anything, about boys’ lacrosse.

While many Minnehaha students know about as much, or less, than most people, there are a few exceptions.

“I know that there is going to be a team this year,” said junior Jack McGillivray.

Starting this spring, Minnehaha will have its first ever boys’ varsity lacrosse team.

In years past, some boys, such as junior attackman Colby Boehm and senior midfielder Zach Newton, have played lacrosse in a co-op club team through the St. Paul Celts. However, this year, Minnehaha, SPA, St. Agnes, Concordia Academy, DeLaSalle and St. Croix Lutheran will be forming a private school co-op team.

“When we first decided to promote this team, we did a lot of thinking about how our girls lacrosse team started, how it was an in-house team and how this negatively impacted our track and field team and our softball team,” athletic director Homar Ramirez said. “We didn’t want to repeat those mistakes, so that is why we are excited to make boys lacrosse a co-op [team],”

One difference between being a club team and a varsity team is that there is no state tournament for club teams. A team may have state level competition on a club team, but they will never go to state. Varsity teams are eligible for the state tournament, run by the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL).

Varsity athletes may earn All State awards and other honors for valiant effort and skill. Being a member of varsity team also means athletes are able to receive a letter for meeting their school’s requirements.

Another key difference between a club and varsity team is timing and game allowances. As a club team, teams are allowed to play as many games as they want in a season. For a varsity team, the time frame is March 30 to mid-June, and within that teams are allowed to play 13 regular season games, plus any additional section games, culminating with the state tournament.

There are 10 players on the field from each team: three attackmen, three midfielders, three defensemen, and one goalie.

To start the game, it is almost like a hockey face off, two opponents go against each other to get possession of the ball. Once in control of the ball, the midfielders can run the entire length of the field or they can pass to one of their teammates. The attack and the defense have two sets of restraining lines that they cannot cross. For example, the defense cannot cross into the offensive zone, and the offense cannot cross into the defensive zone. But, when you are in the offensive zone, there is a special circle called the crease that only the goalie can be in.  After each goal, there is a face off at the center circle and the team with the most goals wins.

Throughout the creation of this team, there has been a great deal of preparation to make this first season great. The head coach will be L.C. Moerschel, who played Division One college lacrosse at Drexel University in Philadelphia and is currently working as the assistant coach for the Minnesota boys’ lacrosse club team. The athletic department feels that Moerschel was a very strong candidate and will be a great coach.

For Ramirez, the main deciding factor for the Minnehaha lacrosse team is simple.

“We want to give our young people opportunities to shine. We want to give them their platforms to succeed and to be encouraged.”

The new team may be just the beginning for boys’ lacrosse at Minnehaha.

“It gives us a chance to really get this thing going, and as our enrollment grows and as more students come to MA that want to play lacrosse, now we have it,” Ramirez said. “Our hope is that in two to four years, Minnehaha [will have] its own boys lacrosse team.”

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