First there was a team at district high schools, then a winter clinic and a summer camp. But now, local lax-ers in fifth through eighth grades will have a chance to run with the “fastest game on two feet” in the spring, when the Indian River School District launches the Tribe Lacrosse recreation league later this month.
“There’s nothing like this around here. The kids are hungry for something like this,” said IR assistant boys’ lacrosse coach Dave Spencer of the rec league, which is set for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m., starting March 21 and spanning through May 4. “I know personally I want help the sport grow, especially because my kids are playing now.”
Spencer will help run the show, along with IR head boys’ lacrosse coach Jim Dietsch, who has been coaching at the youth, high school and collegiate levels for the past 42 years — including at Belmont Abbey College and the University of Maryland. Spencer played collegiately at Towson University and professionally for the Baltimore Thunder.
Together, the coaching duo has not only had success at Indian River High School, but Dietsch also helped Spencer implement the area’s first summer lacrosse camp — the Sharp Shooter Lax Shooting Camp — last July and August.
It was at Sharp Shooter where the need for a more-concrete youth program was realized.
“We have to do this. If we don’t, the program dies,” said Spencer of trying to create a feeder program for area high schools, similar to that of soccer players coming up through the River Soccer Club in Roxana. “We wanted to establish something down here. I know a lot of these kids are leaving here to go to Fruitland or to go to play somewhere else.”
The league will be open to players of all skill levels and will even be able to provide some equipment for players who may not yet have their own.
The 90-minute sessions will be broken down into a group for fifth- and sixth-graders, and a second group for seventh- and eighth-graders, with the first half-hour dedicated to learning the game and basic skills, such as proper technique for ground balls, cradling, shooting and stick positioning. The rest of the time, however, will be allotted for scrimmages and games.
“Then, the next hour, it’s gonna be let ’em play,” said Spencer. “We’re going to try to accommodate as many players as possible.”
“We’re trying to build a tradition of not just establishing a good lacrosse program at Indian River but establishing something in Sussex County.”
The registration fee for the league is set at $50, and registration forms must be completed and mailed to the IRSD Adult Education Office at 30207 Frankford School Road in Frankford.
For more information, call the IRSD Adult Education Office at (302) 732-1343 or email Jim Dietsch at firstname.lastname@example.org.