IR Lax Coach Dietsch to launch Tribe Lacrosse Youth League
Recently beginning their second varsity season, the Indian River High School lacrosse roster is full of athletic talent. However, most of that talent is raw when it comes to stick skills and lacrosse fundamentals, which can be expected considering that most of the team never played youth lacrosse.
To remedy the situation, IR Lacrosse Head Coach Jim Dietsch will be launching the Tribe Lacrosse Youth Developmental League — which will offer local youths the opportunity to try out and familiarize themselves with the increasingly popular sport at an earlier age.
A former University of Maryland standout, and with over 40 years of experience as a coach, Dietsch knows the importance of developing skills early — hailing from the Baltimore area, where it isn’t unusual for children to begin lacrosse clinics as early as the age of 4.
“I’ve been doing this for 40 years, and what a great bunch of kids,” Dietsch commented on his current varsity players who helped make an Indian River lacrosse team possible and who will be assisting with the Tribe program.
“Where they came from — pick-up, intramural after school program two days a week, when some days they had six kids, somedays they had 12 kids, never knowing if it was gonna develop. I remember Todd [Fuhrman] kept saying, ‘be patient, we’ll get this thing.’”
While Tribe isn’t quite set up to accommodate all interested youth players just yet, Dietsch is hoping to get middle schoolers involved in the program this year, who he will eventually be coaching at the high school level in a few years.
The program will only cost $20 per player, which is just enough to cover the insurance cost. Not only is the fee minimal, but a few donations from US Lacrosse has ensured that players won’t even have to buy their own equipment to participate.
The ultimate goal of the program is to act as a feeder system for the high school, similar to what schools like Cape Henlopen and Stephen Decatur have had set up for years. If he can generate enough interest, Dietsch is convinced that he can not only produce future Division 1 players, but eventually build the program enough to compete with local lacrosse powerhouses like Cape.
“They’re some world class athletes,” Dietsch said regarding IR lacrosse players like Tim Roberts and Joost Elling that have immense talent but would have benefitted substantially from a youth program like Tribe. “All they need is stick work.”
Practices for Tribe will begin this Saturday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Indian River High School. After a few practices, the players will then be divided into teams and begin scrimmages.
To sign up, mail your form and $20 check to Tribe Lacrosse: PO Box 123, Ocean View, DE 19970. If you need a form, have questions about the program, or would like to volunteer to help coach or referee games, call Jim Dietsch at 539-7627.