Building a Williamsburg High School Boys Lacrosse Team

Posted: March 7, 2012 in Uncategorized
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High School Club Lacrosse Championship

One of the best parts of competing in high school athletics is the sense of achievement that our student/athletes realize while competing. Last year four boys lacrosse club teams competed in the Coventry Games High School Club Lacrosse Team Championship in Richmond. Two teams from Hampton Roads, one from Roanoke, and  one from Richmond competed for the right to be declared Virginia State Champion.

The Roanoke team was essentially an expansion team cobbled together after a team split in the Roanoke Valley and won a triple overtime game with Tabb advancing them to the semi-final game. This year that very same Roanoke team will become an official club team of Cave Spring High School in Roanoke. Being an official club at that school gives them the privilege of utilizing school resources like fields and weight rooms. What is better is that in this age of budget cuts is there is no direct cost to the school. Most importantly, the team will fly the school colors and be eligible to compete again for the state championship, although getting there will probably be tougher this year than last as there will be twice as many teams competing for the spot.

Cave Spring - Roanoke - Virginia

What is most significant about the Roanoke experience is that having lived in Roanoke most of my life and being on the ground floor of the growth of lacrosse; it was really rewarding to see that kids that we coached and my sons competed with were now all grown up and playing high school lacrosse. My wife actually coached many of these same kids when they were much younger. Many of the players were kids that my sons recruited, and most had been playing for at least seven years when they made it to the state championship. What was the most striking to me was when many of the kids who played for many years with my son asked him why he was not playing in the tournament. He had played lacrosse and basketball with a lot of these kids for over half of his life and he had to tell them that his team was not eligible for the tournament because his team was a select team and only teams that had geographical restrictions on their enrollment were eligible.

Any parent knows that even more stinging than our own disappointments are those experienced by our children. Unwittingly we had denied our son the opportunity to experience the camaraderie and esprit de corps of playing for his high school. The entire concept of a select team playing during the high school season is in my opinion and the opinion of many others to be a flawed concept, but without this team there would not be any high school boys lacrosse in Williamsburg except for Walsingham.  In hindsight we now know that we had other options. Hampton Roads Chapter of US Lacrosse would have allowed him to play on another team since they did not have an option in the Williamsburg area, which although not his high school, would have given him the opportunity to play high school lacrosse during the normal lacrosse season. My son played with the Williamsburg “Blue” Warriors which was the only option to play high school lacrosse in Williamsburg unless he attended Walsingham Academy.

The “Blue” Warriors were formed by Mark Hofmeister and  Monty Hill after Lafayette High School abandoned their high school boys lacrosse team at the end of the 2007 season. There has been a lot of speculation as to why the Lafayette team was abandoned but it was fortunate for the players that the “Blue” Warriors were formed allowing them to continue to play. What is unfortunate is that fact that the team which bills itself as a elite team and does not represent any high school and would be ineligible for the High School Club Team Championship. Additionally, the “Blue” Warriors do not appear to have any governance with the exception being the officials on the field nor do they appear to have the player insurance that would be required of all US Lacrosse members. Essentially, select teams throughout the country are playing during the summer at competitive tournaments, the “Blue” Warriors did not play in any tournaments last summer. Their season this year has only six home games scheduled of their (18) games. They are scheduled to play (2) Division II private schools, Hampton Roads Academy and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. They are also scheduled to play teams in North Carolina, Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and at least one team that was formed just this year. An argument could be made that High School teams throughout the state are actually scheduled to play more competitive teams than the “Blue” Warriors are scheduled to play. In fact, in most localities select teams that play during the normal season have been forced to become developmental teams because their players are choosing to play for their respective high school, however; select – elite teams that play during the summer season are growing at an unprecedented rate.

"Blue" Warriors

The aforementioned Tabb is a club team that plays in the Hampton Roads Chapter of US Lacrosse and is considered one of the most competitive club teams in the area although the folks at Grafton would have a legitimate beef with that distinction.  The facts are that HRLax has a number of highly competitive teams that compete with each other at the high school level. All of their coaches are volunteers, they must be certified, they undergo background checks and they are required to enroll in continuing education programs through US Lacrosse, the governing body of lacrosse. The board of directors and officers for HRLax are all passionate about providing a great lacrosse experience for every kid and they devote extensive time and resources to achieve that goal. HRLax also supports all of the youth teams organized as the Williamsburg Warriors and their ranks are swelling.

The time for building a Williamsburg team is now, high school teams across the state have almost doubled. The newly formed York Boys high school went from zero to twenty five players with at least three boys from Williamsburg to round out the team. In the coming weeks we plan to build an organizational structure for a new team. We will be enlisting local business leaders, supporters, coaches, advisors, and interested parties to build a board of directors to form a high school boys team in Williamsburg. We would like to explore all options and get this team on the field for the 2013 season. We currently have coaches for the team and coaches from other venues that will support our team.

We have already assembled a group of advisors that consists of officials and coaches from both the college and high school levels, locally and nationally. Now it is time to develop our ground game and get this going. If you have interest in supporting this initiative please contact me at the email link below.

Thank you and we welcome your comments.

Email: Mark Moreno

Mobile: 540 520 4706

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