Youth Lacrosse Teams Continue to Expand and Improve
by Martinique Davis
May 22, 2008 | 672 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DIRECT SHOT – Junior Sean Swain fired a shot on the Montrose net while freshman Tucker Hensen positioned himself in front of the net for a possible rebound shot. (Photo by Erin Raley)
DIRECT SHOT – Junior Sean Swain fired a shot on the Montrose net while freshman Tucker Hensen positioned himself in front of the net for a possible rebound shot. (Photo by Erin Raley)
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TELLURIDE – Just a few years ago, lacrosse was something of a novelty sport in Western Colorado, played by only a few East Coast transplants and known around here as “that sport with the sticks.” But lacrosse has recently been touted as the fastest growing sport in the nation, and that momentum has not passed over this corner of Colorado.

Telluride’s youth lacrosse teams boasted one of their biggest seasons yet this spring, and President of the Telluride Youth Lacrosse Association Board Bob Delves said that local and regional interest in this rapidly growing game is far from ebbing.

“There is just something about this sport. Kids just love it!” said Delves, who saw a similar growth pattern in youth lacrosse programs in Ohio a decade ago, and then witnessed lacrosse spread to the eastern slope of Colorado beginning around six years ago.

Telluride started its lacrosse program five years ago, a bit ahead of the curve in terms of growth of the sport in the region. Yet it seems as though the rest of western Colorado has jumped on the lacrosse bandwagon, with new teams sprouting up this season in Montrose and Grand Junction, joining recently formed teams in Aspen, Basalt, Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs, and Summit County.

“We’re finally finding some people to play with,” Delves said of the boys’ team spring schedule, which highlighted the Telluride team taking second at the Eagle County tournament in Edwards on May 11. It also was the first time Telluride beat its biggest and oldest rival, Durango, helping catapult the team into its first ever winning season (6-3).

This year also provided some firsts for the middle school lacrosse program, which was able to schedule its first-ever games. Seventh- and eighth-grade players practice with the older team members and occasionally win berths on game rosters, but until this year there hadn’t been enough players to field a full middle school side.

The girls’ lacrosse team, in its second year, wasn’t able to match their winning record from last season this spring, but did nearly double the size of their program this year.

“The girls really seem to have found a love for it, too,” Delves said. The girls’ program marked the end of its season this week with a match between the high school-aged players and some of the community’s more mature lady lacrosse players at the Lawson field on Tuesday night.
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