ROCHESTER, Minn. - Spring sports continue to prepare for the upcoming season meaning lacrosse teams returned to practice this week. The sport has been gaining a lot of interest in recent years and after not having a 2020 season, numbers are still on the rise, and a lot of excitement is building around this season.
“It’s been over a year. We missed last season so there’s a lot of waiting and built-up energy that finally got out on that field to play, so there’s a lot of excitement,” said Century Head Coach, Tyler Johnson.
Johnson said participation numbers for his team remained steady this year.
“Our numbers jumped quite a bit last year going into the season and we have lost a few, but overall, if we go back to the past five or six years, our numbers are up again. We’re in the mid-30s so we can do a JV and varsity team.”
Along with new players come new challenges for team captains – especially during a pandemic.
“Since we have 30 girls this season, about 10 of them are from past seasons,” Ann Scripture said. “We have 20 new girls to learn their names when you can only see half of their faces and we have a set of identical twins so that’s going to be really hard, too.”
So, what’s making lacrosse such a popular option for newcomers and makes them want to return year after year?
“I like that there’s a competitive aspect but you also use your brain more than your body. In most sports, there’s body contact but you have to use your brain and it makes you lay out the field and things,” Jasmine Waldron said.
For those interested in giving the sport a try, Katia Schuler has some words of encouragement.
“It’s a pretty easy starter sport. A lot of people pick it up really quickly and it’s just really involved so you feel welcome right away,” she said.
Coach Johnson also says the sport has plenty of college scholarships up for grabs, which also attracts athletes to pick up the game.