BLACK HILLS, S.D. – The popularity of Lacrosse has grown, not just across the nation, but also in the Black Hills area as more people start playing or even just watching the sport.
“Black Hills Lacrosse has been around for 10 years, I believe, and the girl’s program has been around for 7.” James White, girl’s coach and vice-president of the Black Hills Lacrosse Board, says, “Lacrosse is relatively new to this area. So, learning the rules that the parents aren’t necessarily familiar with them, the kids aren’t necessarily familiar with them, but over time they pick it up. They pick up the skills and they just take off and it’s really exciting to see.”
The sport is a great activity for both condition and coordination, which White explains.
“It activates pretty much all of the core muscles, I mean, pretty much anything that you’re going to use for any other sport. So, it’s a great sport for getting into if you play other sports and it’s a great sport if you’re just interested in Lacrosse.”
Even if you’ve never picked up a stick, Black Hills Lacrosse is looking for and welcoming to newcomers.
Ronda Simmons, Black Hills Lacrosse board member, says, “We’d love to see more growth in the sport. I mean, we’re always recruiting and trying to get people interested in the program, more kids playing and to grow it, because once you get into it, you don’t get out.”
White says, “What we’d love to have is a program as robust as like soccer, right, where you have lots of kids, lots of involvement. You can have both traveling teams and home leagues so that it’s easier to get involved in.”
Simmons explains the different boys’ teams in the Black Hills, and where they travel to play games.
“The boys’ lacrosse side has four travel teams. We have a U12, the U14. This year, we have enough boys in our high school level that we can do a JV and a varsity. So, they travel all around the state. We actually even travel up into North Dakota, to Bismarck and Grand Forks. Travel’s a lot of fun. Sometimes it can be a lot, but when you see how these kids can perform with all those other teams and stuff like that, it’s totally worth it. We probably play against six to seven other teams and travel around the state. Most of them are on the east side, but it’s a lot of fun. They come here and play in our home tournament as well. The sport’s growing. It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S., we’re trying to get on the train and grow it here just as fast as it’s growing everywhere else.”
All it takes to join is signing up and picking up the necessary gear.
White says, “For the girls, it’s just goggles, a mouthpiece, a stick and cleats. It’s really quite simple. I’ll let Ronda (Simmons) speak to the boys. It’s a little more complicated.”
Simmons says, “Boys have to have roughly the same gear as the girls as far as the cleats, stick, mouth guard. Boys do wear helmets and they have to have a chest protector because it’s a little more physical in the boys’ game, I would say, to some extent than the girls.”
Lacrosse has both a spring and fall season, allowing for an opportunity for people interested to try out the sport.
“Coming up, after the spring season, we’ll enter what we call fall lacrosse. So, if you’re interested in joining, it’s a good time,” White says. “We don’t travel as much, kind of learn the sport and then we’ll do a Tri-Lacs event as well. So, you can sign up, come out, try it for a day, get a USA lacrosse membership and take it from there.”
To get more information on games and teams, head to Black Hills Lacrosse.