The board unanimously approved boys lacrosse as a varsity sport, bringing the total to 21 at Spring Lake High School. Last spring was the third year of existence for the lacrosse team and its second as a high school club sport.
During that season, Sharp voiced confidence that his goal was becoming closer to reality. The program had showcased strong participation numbers with approximately 150 students ranging in teams from varsity through fifth grade. The sport is also self-funded, a big selling point for a tight Spring Lake athletic department budget.
“They do have their own board and funding-wise, they handle everything from uniforms to compensating their referees,” said Spring Lake athletic director Cavin Mohrhardt. “The difference now is they’ll have to follow our training and code of conduct rules and follow all MHSAA rules. And they’ll also be eligible for postseason play.”
Sharp, a New Jersey native, has been successful building lacrosse programs in the past at other schools in West Michigan, having spearheaded efforts at both Forest Hills schools and Caledonia.
Mohrhardt said two other relatively new sports at Spring Lake — bowling and skiing — will remain club sports for now, but are also gaininig steam in potentially one day becoming varsity programs.
The bowling team competes in the Lakes Eight Conference and hosts its home meets at Starlite Lanes in Grand Haven. The Lakers’ skiers have competed against teams in the Greater Grand Rapids Ski Conference — including Grand Haven — for the past two years and compete at Cannonsburg Ski Area.