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Monday, May 09, 2021

It’s not quite like hockey in Florida, but seeing that grand Northeastern shin-whacking game of lacrosse starting to take root in the Sunshine State’s high schools and colleges seems a bit foreign.

Locally, there are teams in Citrus Park, Clearwater, Freedom High School, Lakewood Ranch, FishHawk Ranch, at Plant High School, Tampa Jesuit and Tampa Catholic.

Saint Leo University will field its first intercollegiate team next year, and two Wesley Chapel players plan to be on that inaugural team. Saint Leo president Arthur F. Kirk Jr. is a lacrosse player himself.

“Colleges in the northeast have been playing for years,” Kirk said. “Now you’re seeing it catch on in California, and you’re going to see it in Florida. We’re trying to get a little ahead of the curve.”

The Wesley Chapel teams have been around four years - longer than most in this area. They are among the best in the state. The high school-level team won its conference this year, losing only two regular season games. The middle school-level team was undefeated.

My limited exposure to the sport convinced me that you need a healthy streak of masochism to really get into it — and this is a hockey fan/player talking. It’s like a constant high-sticking marathon, with the odds of getting your teeth knocked out very high. All in all, I’ll take the ice, thanks.

Can lacrosse make it here? Hey, who ever figured the Stanley Cup would wind up in Florida? Or for that matter, the Bucs ever winning a Super Bowl? Anything’s possible.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/09/2021 10:07:56 PM
Category: Other Sports, Florida Livin' | Permalink |

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  1. Eckerd College also has a very successful Lacrosse program: http://www.eckerd.edu/news/index.php?f=detail&id=1107

    Comment by Hunk Oman — 05/10/2021 @ 09:09:22 AM

  2. How could I neglect the old alma mater… Keep in mind: The Tritons field a club team, not an NCCA squad. Maybe rival Saint Leo having a Div. II team will spur Eckerd to do the same.

    Of course, when I think of Eckerd and lacrosse, I think of those women lacrosse players from Maryland or wherever who would come down to campus every year on their training camps. A sure sign of Spring when you saw those brutes in the cafeteria…

    All the Bay area lacrosse you can stand: www.tampabaylacrosse.com

    Comment by CT — 05/10/2021 @ 12:36:26 PM

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