The Canal Winchester Lacrosse Association (CWLA) applauded the decision of the Canal Winchester Board of Education to add lacrosse as an ofﬁcial OHSSA-sanctioned sport.
The board approved the creation of lacrosse as an ofﬁcial middle school sport in 2020 with a unanimous 5-0 vote on Feb. 10. The CWLA started in 2017 as a non-proﬁt organization to foster a lacrosse program among middle and high school age participants with the eventual goal of making it an ofﬁcial school sport. The program began with about a dozen participants, but has grown to nearly 100 players.
CWLA President Victor Paini said that, if anything, the lacrosse program is ahead of even the most enthusiastic projections.
“We’re thrilled that the school board recognized what we’ve seen over the last two plus years – that Canal Winchester kids love lacrosse,” Paini said. “We would also like to thank the players and parents that have been a part of this program for sticking with us as we work to build something unique and special. When we started we had dreams, but now we have recognition and a road map to grow the program even further as it becomes an ofﬁcial Indians sport.”
The CWLA has sought from the start to create a partnership between non-proﬁt and the school district. The board presentation was made by Paini and middle school Athletic Director Brent Palsgrove. High School Athletic Director Pat Durbin has also been supportive of the program.
“I’m proud that this has been a community effort and I’m looking forward to seeing this program grow over the coming decade,” Paini said.
Paini said this season the CWLA will be offering a co-ed, club high school lacrosse team.
“If our numbers continue to remain steady, our strategy is to have a high school sanctioned sport in one to two years,” said Paini. “We are also working hard to create a dedicated girls offering as well. We’ve come a long way but there is still much to do.”
Paini said that thanks are due to CWLA board members, including founding members Wendy Rohaly, Jennifer Beckwith and former fundraising coordinator Holly Bowman. Current CWLA board members include: Paini, Vice President Joe Malone, Treasurer Kevin Nickerson, Secretary Jessica Root, Registrar Brian Priebe, Jen Nickerson, and Mailee Schmeltzer.
For information about the CWLA can be found at www.CWLacrosse.com.