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The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

Ludlow Is Holding Back Potential Lacrosse Athletes

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Lacrosse is a sport that has been around for hundreds of years, dating back to the Eastern Woodlands Native Americans.  At any given time there are 10 people on each side of the field with many more players on the bench just itching to be put in.  And yet, I never got the chance to play this amazing sport. 

The Ludlow school system offers practically every major sport but it does not include lacrosse.  I never gave this much thought since I was busy trying out every other sport possible.  However, recently at a birthday party my cousin Matthew was talking about his latest lacrosse game and it got me thinking.  I finally got curious and asked him about the sport and why he liked it so much.

This was the moment that I realized just how unfair it is to the Ludlow student body that we don’t even have the option to try this sport out.  Lacrosse needs to be a sport offered at Ludlow High School since there are already students who would want to try out the sport, there is a serious imbalance amongst the other spring sports, and it could help prepare athletes who compete in other sports during their offseason.  

My cousin Matthew is a junior and a varsity lacrosse player at Minnechaug but he doesn’t live in Wilbraham.  He lives in Ludlow and used to attend Ludlow schools, the only reason he transferred was that Ludlow didn’t have a lacrosse team.  He had been playing the sport in his free time and fell in love with it and I’m nearly certain this must be the case for others at Ludlow too, they just didn’t want to transfer schools and lose their friends so they suffered in silence.  When I asked Matthew if he cared about how good the team he played on was he said, “No not at all, I just love the sport and wanted to be a part of a team.  Winning is fun but with your friends losing can be too.”

We already know that Ludlow lost one athlete due to their lack of a lacrosse team and I wanted to know just how many other athletes we could be sidelined with the administrator’s decision to not form a team.  I decided to interview junior football player and track athlete Ryan Furches on the matter and when asked if he or anyone he knew would be interested in playing lacrosse he said that he would and that he knows “several other football players” who would love to have a more physical sport to play during the spring.

I also asked junior Lucas Costa, former soccer player, whether or not he thought anyone from the school would be interested in joining the team and he said that his friend Dom would be interested.  Even junior Ryan Gomes who disagreed with me and feels that creating a lacrosse team would be pointless admitted that he knew Gabby Pereira and other girls would be interested in a womens lacrosse team.

Clearly there are athletes eager to participate in this sport whose potential is being held back by Ludlow’s lack of a team.  

Why Lacrosse Wouldn’t Hurt Other Spring Sports

One of the major arguments against a lacrosse team at Ludlow is that it would take players away from other sports and or not have enough players to make up a team.  This was the perspective of Ryan Gomes who argued that “Lacrosse either would have barely any players or it would leave the baseball and volleyball teams in a miserable state.”  While I can understand his concern I have to disagree with him.  

I feel as though there are enough students currently not participating in a spring sport who would sign up for lacrosse, including myself, to form a team.  Obviously a lacrosse team would pull away some players from other sports but I don’t think it would take many baseball players or volleyball players. These teams are often made up of athletes who are on the team because they especially love those sports, they are not just looking for a way to stay active.  This conclusion can be made by looking at the roster size of the team.  With track being a much more popular option, the reason to join a smaller and less successful team only makes sense if the athlete has a love for the sport. 

One team that does have a plethora of athletes is the track and field team which often catches athletes who have nothing to do during the spring and want to stay in shape for another sport.  This team is often overpopulated and crowded and Ryan Furches believes that a lacrosse team could be a healthy option to manage the population of the track team.  He felt that the track buses were almost “suffocating” and that many students on the track team “don’t have their heart in the sport and don’t give it their all since they just signed up for the sake of doing a sport”. 

Now obviously this doesn’t pertain to all track athletes but a lacrosse team would certainly help give the athletes who aren’t as interested in the sport another option to try out and fall in love with. 

Preparing Athletes For Contact

Athletes who play contact sports such as football, hockey, and wrestling could benefit more by playing lacrosse than doing track.  While track certainly helps an athlete stay conditioned and in shape, it doesn’t provide many opportunities for athletes to build muscle and it definitely doesn’t give them a chance to get used to wearing pads and colliding with other players.  

Ryan Furches felt that lacrosse would be the perfect sport for him and for the football team.  He said, “I really think that lacrosse could help the whole team stay in shape and it would be a lot of fun to play on a field with that group of guys for more than one season.”

I have to agree with him, spring is the only season at Ludlow where there are no rougher sports to do.  The physicality of lacrosse is both a lot of fun and a great way to build skills for other sports.

An interesting point that Lucas Costa brought to my attention was that lacrosse would be something to excite spectators as well.  He said that he thought the sport was interesting and that he would attend as many games as he could.  This could provide the school with another great way to make money by charging for entry.  

There are 190 high school lacrosse teams in Massachusetts and many schools around us have a team.  In fact I’ve gotten looks of shock from my friends at other schools when I tell them that we don’t have a team.  Lacrosse is an immensely popular sport and would fit right in at Ludlow High School.  

With our new field being built we are presented with a unique opportunity to have lacrosse lines added to this field and start to build a program.  It might be too late for me to have a chance at the sport but at least future athletes will get the opportunity to try out the amazing sport of lacrosse.

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