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Creating a JV and Varsity Boys Lacrosse Teams in The Hampton Roads Chapter of US Lacrosse (HRLax)  will compliment the already established organization which does not have a Boys JV and Varsity Lacrosse team in Williamsburg.  Currently there are only two options for our boys JV and Varsity teams to play lacrosse in Williamsburg,  Walsingham Academy or the WLC  Warriors.

Jim Old, President & Michelle Gazarik, Vice President of HRLax have communicated that they are totally supportive of a new team in Williamsburg. The biggest opportunity is to grow HRLax into a VHSL public high school program in Hampton Roads that will allow for our youth to compete at a high school level. ” our mission and vision is to support the development and initiation of High School based lacrosse teams – one in which players will play for their school”, Jim Old, President HRLax. HRLax is totally supportive of the formation of the new boys teams. They currently have a High School girls team in Williamsburg and are willing to welcome the boys teams with open arms.

The formation of a new team  has the potential to pull players from the for profit Williamsburg Lacrosse Club, Inc. (WLC) The Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission lists the Officers/Directors as Frank W. Haislip President/Treasurer, James M Hill III as Vice President, and Mark D Hoffmeister as Secretary. The Corporate ID: 0665386-9.

Mark Hofmeister, Secretary and varsity coach for the WLC has stated that “WLC, clearly is not for everyone!” Coach Hofmeister also stated that ” Let me know if I can be of any assistance in promoting the same (creating JV and Varsity teams) and I would be available, as well as Frank and Monty, to serve as consultants, advisors, etc., etc., etc., to accomplish the same.”

Williamsburg Warriors Lacrosse Club, Inc.  (non-profit) should not be confused with Williamsburg Lacrosse Club, Inc. (for profit) they are completely different entities.  The fact WLC has used the team name “Warriors” has the potential to suggest affiliations where none exist. Most importantly, WLC is not sanctioned by US Lacrosse the governing body for lacrosse nor are they a member. WLC has a cost to the players of $425 per season versus $110 – $150 per player and a $35 US Lacrosse fee that includes insurance for the players with HRLax. Players for WLC did not have any US Lacrosse insurance this season, we have requested certificates of insurance as well as a copy of their by-laws, annual meeting minutes, and financial accounting and none have been received or posted. HRLax prominently posts all of their information and is a member of US Lacrosse, it’s coaches are certified by US Lacrosse, and HRLax is a member of The Positive Coaching Alliance.

Out of pocket travel expenses for the WLC for this past season averaged $800 – $1,000 per player most of which was not planned. The coaches travel, lodging expenses, and miscellaneous expenses were paid for out of team funds according to the participation agreement provided by the team. WLC players missed at least two scheduled school days to play in a tournament in northern Virginia. The participation agreement also stated that 100% attendance was required unless absence was approved 7 days in advance. Parents and players were chastised in an email when a few missed a game during spring break.

HRLax has Boys teams from U9 to U15 playing in HRLAX. At the U9 level they have 2 teams now and at the U11 level we will field 3 teams in 2011. Additionally, they are seeing great excitement at the younger levels as some of the kids have now been playing for 4 or 5 years. Almost every elementary school in Williamsburg-James City County has kids playing for the Warriors. Last year, nearly 1,500 boys and girls were in the league, with teams fielded in Suffolk, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News, Williamsburg and the Outer Banks.

On May 21st the varsity boys teams from Tabb and Grafton competed in the Virginia High School Club Lacrosse Championship in Richmond. Tournament coordinators Michelle Gazarik and John Wilcox did a awesome job building this first ever event. There were 12 teams in the championship (8) girls teams and (4) boys teams.

The Atlee Boys Lacrosse team won the Gold Medal,  the Roanoke “Warhawks”  took the Silver Medal, and HRLax’s Tabb Lacrosse Team,  took the Bronze Medal. The Roanoke – Tabb semifinal game was incredible with Roanoke advancing to the final round after winning over Tabb in triple overtime.  WLC “Warriors” were not eligible to compete in the state club high school tournament.

The Midlothian Girls team took the Gold, South County (Roanoke) Girls team won the Silver, and HRlax’s Tabb Girls team took the Bronze.

On June 4th of this year the Williamsburg Warriors Lacrosse Club will be hosting the “Battle of Williamsburg” in Williamsburg which includes sponsorship from Great Wolf Lodge and Dick’s Sporting Goods.  This event was incredibly successful last year and had a huge impact on area restaurants, hotels, and retailers. Last year during the event I had an opportunity to speak with Bobby Lappas, Owner New York Deli & Pizza, and he told me that he enjoyed a ton of business from the event.

HRLax is good for the community, good for business, and most importantly good for our lacrosse players.

We welcome your comments.