A club of their own


By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Brian Hoover In its first year, the Grove City Lacrosse Club is hoping to gain interest and increased participation for the upcoming season.
Photo courtesy of Brian Hoover
In its first year, the Grove City Lacrosse Club is hoping to gain interest and increased participation for the upcoming season.

When Brian Hoover moved to Grove City seven years ago, he was a bit dismayed to learn that lacrosse had yet to make inroads in the area.

“Lacrosse was one of the fastest growing sports in America but it wasn’t being considered (as a recreational option) here,” he said.

Wanting to change the tide, the former Ohio State lacrosse player sent out inquiries as to what it would take to bring the sport to his new hometown.

“It turned out to be a big undertaking and I just didn’t have the time to put into it at that point,” he said.

By happenstance, Hoover came into contact with members of the Hilliard Youth Lacrosse League last year while attending Arts in the Alley. Working together with the Central Ohio Youth Lacrosse League – a recreational program from The Ohio Machine – they established a club of their own in Grove City and began gauging the interest from children in grades 2 through 6.

By the end of January, they had 25 youths – 24 boys and one girl – eager to play for the newly minted Bobcats and Jaguars. In the spring of 2016, they made their debut.

To Hoover’s surprise, they played remarkably well for a first-year program.

“I had coaches from well-established leagues coming up to me after the games and telling me how impressed they were with the players and the program,” said Hoover, who is now the president of the Grove City Lacrosse Club.

He said that judging from the interest received as they played their games at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship on Holt Road, they will see a large jump in participation for the upcoming season.

“I predict we’ll have about 80 players this spring,” he said. “Or that’s the goal, at least.”

Though the first year was considered a success, there is still room for improvement and growth, said Hoover.

One thing they want to change is interest from girls.

“We definitely need to get more girls interested in lacrosse,” he said.

Ideally, they will have enough participants to have both boys and girls teams, but Hoover said they can be coed until that time comes.

Hoover also doesn’t want to stop at the club level.

In the future, he said he would like to see lacrosse played at the high school level in the South-Western City Schools District.

He attended the board of education meeting on Oct. 10 to discuss that topic and his idea with met with mixed results.

“We definitely don’t want to slam the door shut,” said Deputy Superintendent David Stewart, “but it likely won’t happen in the near future.”

He said there many logistics and standards to consider before the district is able to introduce a new sport.

“What will be the cost of the new program? What will be the interest? Will it be sustainable?”

He also said the sport cannot just be at one high school and it cannot just be a boys program.

“By law, if we have a new sport it has to be for both boys and girls,” Stewart explained.

One short-term solution Hoover and the district are discussing is the leasing of field space for teams in the newly minted Grove City Lacrosse Club.

“That is certainly one thing we can do and we are happy to assist and support them in those endeavors,” said Stewart.

He added that he personally believes that lacrosse has a future in the district, but it may be years before it will come to fruition.

In the meantime, the Grove City Lacrosse Club is signing up participants for the upcoming season. They are seeking youths from grades 2 to 6 with a focus on youths in grades 3 and 4.

To sign up, go to their website at www.gclax.club.

The Grove City Lacrosse Club will also be hosting two informational sessions at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, located at 3960 Brookham Drive in Grove City on Nov. 10. The first session, which begins at 6 p.m. will focus on grades 3 to 6. The second session, which begins at 7:15 p.m., will focus on grades at the middle school level.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.