Fluvanna County High School Preparing for Varsity and JV Lacrosse Programs
Three Jefferson District high schools participated in boys and girls varsity lacrosse in 2011. That could change in 2012.
As interest and participation at the club level increase, Fluvanna County might be matching up with Charlottesville, Western Albemarle, and Monticello next season. The idea started in 2007.
Fluvanna County rising senior Kelly Douma, who has played lacrosse for one year, said, "You can't start a successful program without starting somewhere."
FCHS rising freshman Austin Early said, "It's really fun playing a sport that, in this area, not many others do."
Over the last four years, interest in lacrosse in Fluvanna County has exploded. Parks and Recreation club programs got going at the middle school and high school levels, and now about 35 girls and 35 boys play club lax in Fluvanna. The teams play other clubs from around Virginia, including Midlothian, Blacksburg, Rustburg, and Hanover.
Douma, captain of the Fluco volleyball team and a swimmer at FCHS, said, "For only having a club sport, I'd say we have a lot of interest. Guys walk around with their sticks. A lot of people want to do it, and we want to play as Flucos."
Fluvanna boys club lacrosse assistant coach Brian Wilberger said, "We're ready for this. This is something we've been waiting for for many a year. There's been a lot of kids that have come and gone through Fluvanna County that have not had the opportunity to play varsity or JV sanctioned sport here for lacrosse, but now it's right here. We're knocking at the door. We're ready to come right through."
With the current economic situation in Fluvanna County, the school system is willing to provide money for coaches, fields, referees, and transportation...but the community has to provide everything else, including equipment, uniforms, balls, and goals.
Wilberger, who is also the vice president of the local US Lacrosse chapter, said, "There is no money in the athletic department budget at all for any sports, much less a startup sport, so any money that is raised to do this program, is coming from the community right now."
And people are stepping up.
Fluvanna County High School rising sophomore John Douma has been playing since sixth grade, he says, "The amount of people in Fluvanna that want to start the program. You can put together two teams at least, JV and varsity, and could be competitive."
Early, who has been playing lax for two years, said, "It just means so much to have the community rally around us. It's just insane the support that we're getting. It's great to know that people who don't even play lacrosse are looking at us and saying, 'hey, this is an awesome thing...that we really like what they're doing...that we want to see them play at the school level.' I think it's just a really neat thing that people are catching on like this."
Wilberger said, "We're all in it for the kids, for the children, to give them an opportunity to grow as students, to grow as athletes, and to open doors."
Early said, "Just to be able to say, 'I play lacrosse for Fluvanna, no longer just a little club program. We're actually playing for wins.' It would be amazing."
Wilberger, who is also the president of the boys middle school league in Charlottesville, said, "Spring of 2012, we are fully in great for that. We're going to do it. It's going to happen. There's no reason why 2012, spring season, we're not in the Jefferson District for both boys and girls, playing everybody. We're talking a matter of months, less than six months. We're going to be ready to field teams."
The goal is to raise $20,000 in private funds to get all four programs up and running (girls and boys JV and varsity).
This Saturday, July 16, families of lacrosse players hoping to bring lacrosse to FCHS are hosting a golf tournament at Rivanna River Resort and Golf Club in Palmyra.
Registration begins and the driving range opens Saturday morning at 8:00 with a shotgun start at 9:00.
There are three flights with prizes for each division. Cost of playing in the tournament is $240 a team or $60 a player, which includes a barbeque lunch and a chance to win a car with a hole in one.
If you'd like to sponsor the tournament or the teams, or would like to make a tax deductible donation to the program, please contact Doug Hotz at 434-295-8466 or email email@example.com.
You can also contact the Rivanna River Resort and Golf Club at 434-589-3730 for more information.
All the proceeds will benefit the Fluvanna County lacrosse program.