Youth Lacrosse is Scoring in South King County
Lacrosse season is well under way in South King County, and with the weather finally warming up, now is the time to go cheer on the Southwest Titans.
In its fifth year, the Southwest Lacrosse Club (formerly known as Highline Lacrosse Club) serves boys and girls throughout the region, and has fielded players from 11 different southwest cities and 50 different schools.
“The growth of the sport in our area has been phenomenal,” said SWLC President Jeff Danner. In five years, SWLC has grown from one team of 15 players to six teams with 121 players. The club offers teams for boys in grades 3-12 and girls in grades 6-12, with hopes of adding teams next year for younger girls.
“Having younger players learn the game helps support our high school program as well as the teams at Chief Sealth, Kennedy, and other area high schools. It’s better when players go into high school with some skills, but the great thing about a relatively new sport is kids are taking it up for the first time at any age, even high school. Watching the sport grow means kids, and parents, are trying something new,” added Stacia Jenkins, Girls Youth Coordinator for the club, “and they love it! It’s a very fun sport to play and watch.”
Like other community sports programs, SWLC is a nonprofit organization led entirely by volunteers. Player fees run $145 to $320, and equipment can be up to $250 more, but to help make the sport accessible to everyone, SWLC offers scholarships, and has supported 59 new and returning players with waived frees and equipment donations over the past four years.
“We need to continue fundraising to help grow the club, but even more than that we need adults to commit their time,” Danner said. “Coaches, umpires, equipment management, outreach, fundraising – we need lots of parent support to keep our teams going. Field space is something of a problem for us, too.”
A spring sport, lacrosse competes with baseball, softball, soccer, and the other regional high school teams for practice and game fields, and requires specialized field lining and goals. Jenkins adds, “We’re starting to talk to our parks departments about where they can potentially put in turf for dedicated lacrosse fields. Between rainouts, twisted ankles, and just the speed and safety of the game, grass fields aren’t ideal. Nearly every team in the leagues is playing on turf now. Our players are good, and they win games, and we want to give them a home field they’re proud of, and will help attract more families to try the sport.” She and other board members are working on a strategy this year to help raise funds for turf fields.
Interested players and parents are invited to go watch a game to see a lacrosse game in action. The boys’ high school team has an upcoming home game at Moshier Field on May 3rd at 7:30pm. High school girls play on the same field at 11:30am on May 4th. Youth teams play at Manhattan Field on weekends through the end of May. Game schedules for the youth teams, and more information, can be found on the website – www.swlacrosseclub.org. New players, and adults who are interested in volunteering or making a club donation should contact [email protected]