Lacrosse enjoys rapid growth at SL

By next spring, Spring Lake's athletic department may have a new addition to its varsity sports teams, pushing the total to 21. Boys lacrosse has petitioned the Spring Lake school board to consider adding it as a varsity sport to the school, according to the club team's head coach Doug Sharp and lacrosse club president, Nina McKeough. A decision may be made this summer.
Nate Thompson
Apr 15, 2011

“It’s still up in the air (with our status next year), but that’s personally my goal,” Sharp said after his team lost to Grand Haven on Thursday at Spring Lake Middle School. “We’ve had great support from the athletic department. They’ve given their blessing to move forward with this.”

The excitement within the program is undeniable. Sharp said there are approximatley 150 students currently participating among eight teams, from varsity all the way down to fifth grade.

“It’s hard to deny the number of kids that are interested in lacrosse,” he said. “We keep on having to order more jerseys and more equipment every year. It’s a good problem to have.”

T-shirt and sweatshirt fundraising sales have helped ease some of the expenses for players.

This isn’t the first time Sharp has kickstarted a lacrosse program. The New Jersey native led lacrosse efforts at both Forest Hills schools and Caledonia, before moving to Spring Lake.

“I caught the coaching bug again and decided to start a program up here,” he said.

Sharp said he’s been pleased with the rapid development of the sport in Spring Lake, which is in its third year of existence and second as a high school club sport.

“With the development of lacrosse players, there’s no magic pill,” he said. “They just need a lot of time with a stick and a ball. We’re not where we want to be right now, but we’re slowly getting there.”

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