Wednesday Apr 30 2008
Lacrosse grows roots in Loomis
By: Ray Hacke Journal Sports Writer
Robinson’s senior project turns into full-fledged team
Trevor Robinson and his father, Kurt, used to bring lacrosse sticks on camping trips so they could throw the ball around. “Before we knew it, we’d have a bunch of kids out there on the campgrounds playing lacrosse with us,” Kurt said. So when Trevor became bored with playing tennis for Del Oro High, he got an idea. Since he had to do a community service project as part of his senior-year graduation requirements, he decided to fulfill that requirement by starting a lacrosse team. The Sierra Foothills Lacrosse Club Golden Eagles were thus formed. The club played its home matches at Del Oro’s football stadium this season and also adopted the school’s colors and mascot in the hopes of one day being integrated into the school as a varsity program, Kurt said. Sierra Foothills played the final home match of its inaugural season Monday night, losing to the Gold Country Stampede 15-2. The Golden Eagles will play their final match of the season at 7:30 tonight against Folsom-Cordova at Folsom’s John Kemp Park. The Golden Eagles have struggled in their first season, going 0-11. “We’ve been getting beat pretty badly,” said Kurt, now the club’s president and head coach. “But every coach we’ve faced has said, ‘You’re doing great for a first-year program.’ That’s really encouraging.” Although it was Kurt who officially formed the club and registered it with the Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association, Trevor was the one who did most of the recruiting and oversaw fundraisers so the team could pay for uniforms, equipment and field use fees. Trevor also compiled training videos that interspersed TV clips from NCAA Division I college matches with film of Sierra Foothills’ matches. “A lot of kids were saying they didn’t think it would be this professional,” Trevor said. “We had nice jerseys and everything.” Sierra Foothills’ roster was comprised primarily of Del Oro students, though one player, senior midfielder Sean Harwood, came from Colfax. Another player was from Rocklin’s Whitney High. Most of Sierra Foothills’ players were underclassmen. “We’re really a JV team playing varsity,” Kurt said. The Golden Eagles had just enough players to fill out an 18-man roster and often didn’t have their whole team at matches. Sierra Foothills’ lack of depth proved particularly troublesome when its midfielders — who usually go onto the field in lines and “are continuously going for 1½ to three minutes at full blast,” Kurt said — couldn’t take a rest. Still, Kurt said the Golden Eagles have shown improvement throughout the season. In a tournament in Palo Alto earlier this month, Sierra Foothills stayed close with a team from Monterey before losing 17-9. “That’s when all the boys were going, ‘Wow, we can do this!’” Kurt said. “For most of the game, we were right there with them.” Trevor and fellow senior midfielder Andrew Schramm have been Sierra Foothills’ scoring leaders with six goals apiece, including one each in Monday’s loss to Gold Country. Junior goalie Tom Wright made saves on 23 of 31 shots in the first half Monday night. Despite Sierra Foothills’ struggles this season, Trevor and Kurt have every reason to believe the team will improve as lacrosse catches on throughout California. “A lot of the guys we got this year are really excited,” Trevor said. “I think they’ll get other people excited and wanting to play too.” “The game is so addictive,” Kurt said. “Once you play lacrosse, you’re hooked — you’re a lacrosse player for life.” ---------- LACROSSE BASICS How the game is played: Each team consists of 10 players — three attackmen, three midfielders, three defensemen and a goalie. While attackmen and defensemen are generally stationary, midfielders spend matches running the length of the 110-by-65-foot field and are frequently substituted for in three-man lines. Players can be removed from the field for various infractions, forcing their teams to play short-handed from 30 seconds to two minutes. Like football and hockey, the game is a hard-hitting one — stick and body checking are allowed — and when fired, the game’s hard rubber ball can travel 100 mph. Equipment: Players wear helmets, shoulder pads, elbow pads and gloves. Each player carries a stick ranging from 40 to 72 inches in length depending on the player’s position. Each stick has a “head,” a webbed pocket from which balls are caught and thrown. Goalies’ sticks are the longest and have the widest heads. A brief history: Lacrosse is North America’s oldest sport — Native Americans used to play it to prepare for battles with other tribes. Already popular on the East Coast, lacrosse is the nation’s fastest-growing high school sport, doubling in size to more than 200,000 players since 2001, according to U.S. Lacrosse. How to get involved: The Sierra Foothills Lacrosse Club is hoping to start a junior varsity boys squad as well as girls teams. For more information, visit www.sierrafoothillslacrosse.org.