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However, this is far from the case in New York City, where urban youngsters play it with gusto. Dayna Evans of Gawker reports. Image Source: gawker. Commonly reserved for suburban, upper-middle class hamlets along the East Coast and prep schools walled off by privilege and padded in money, lacrosse felt out of context for a city consumed by baseball, basketball, handball, and football.
But after seeing lacrosse sticks and gear on the subway, it appeared that the sport had broken free from the manicured fields of suburban Maryland, spilling into public green spaces in New York neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy and Brownsville. Who was behind the the sport's presence here? What was driving it? A few Saturday mornings ago, I went to a Brooklyn Lacrosse free boys' clinic to give proof to my speculation that lacrosse had been growing as a New York City game since I moved here ten years ago.
The turf at Brooklyn Bridge Park was home to a mixture of eager, nervy, and uncertain players. When I arrived a group of first-graders were bring given a talking to about "swordfighting" with their sticks. The standard-issue lacrosse sticks, provided to the clinic by U.
Lacrosse, a national lacrosse organization, dwarfed the six-year-olds so that they looked like little plastic toys running around, tripping over prop candy canes. One teenager who arrived late looked like he'd been playing for a long time. His mohawk was dyed an ombre yellow-orange and he geared up with ease, one of the few to bring his own stick. He had been playing football and one of his coaches had suggested he try lacrosse, he explained, adding that he was immediately convinced during the first scrimmage.
When I watched him shoot on goal, it was evident that lacrosse had been the right choice. The clinic is run by Joe Nocella, architect, college professor, and owner of Cyclery , a bike shop in Gowanus, and his all-volunteer organization, Brooklyn Lacrosse. The organization was founded in and in its short two years has grown to over fifty volunteer coaches to spread among co-ed players. Nocella began Brooklyn Lacrosse having played the sport himself all through middle and high school, then at Drexel University for a year after which he moved on to play at City College, where he is now in the hall of fame.
The summer clinics are attended by girls and boys from schools all over the city, kids from each demographic and skill set, purposely held in areas like Brooklyn Bridge Park that are accessible by most subway lines. Brooklyn Lacrosse aggressively canvases parent organizations with blasts encouraging lacrosse as a sport that doesn't rely so heavily on height, build, or any acute athletic skill.
In the first boys' clinic of the summer, Nocella looked relaxed as he guided the sessions, blowing the whistle to signal transitions in play. He ably managed parents with their kids so that the kids could get to where they needed to go; the ones that showed up late were tossed into the fray with a stick and a finger pointed in the direction of their age group.
After the players went through half of the sessions, the whistle blew again: break time. Fifty or so boys ran in our direction, scrambling for water or chatting with their parents, most of whom were sitting on a set of short bleachers on the sidelines, watching the drills, perplexed. The high schoolers ran back on the field after guzzling water and started shooting on goal again.
Watching the ease and fluidity of the kids' movements, as it paired with how naturally the clinic was run, made me feel like lacrosse had been played in New York all along. I broke my foot playing lacrosse in seventh grade. I had turned on it in the wrong way as I twisted to check the ball out of an opponent's pocket, pressing my foot into the hard cement tennis court. I heard the top of my foot crack in three ways, and I knew immediately as I collapsed to the ground that I'd broken something.
With two girls holding me up on either side, I limped to the school nurse. The incident had been part of my short growth as a lacrosse player, which began with my own clinic in fifth grade. I figured I'd go because so many people I knew in my town were athletic, and at that young age, the division between "nerd" and "jock" hadn't been established.
My friend stole the tank years later and wears it to bed. I don't blame her—it was really comfortable. After the foot-breaking incident I picked up lacrosse again when I was in eighth grade, as if I'd never stopped playing. The bones on the surface of my foot felt tender when I shuttled around on the field, learning how to weave in and out of the huge patch of cleanly cut grass that dressed the soft hills around my middle school.
I wasn't that good, and never ended up getting that good, but, like any kid with extra energy to expend and a desire to find her place, lacrosse seemed like a natural use of my time. My entire town was bonkers over the sport—our girls team was the best in the state several years in a row—and given our football team's horrible record, lacrosse was the default game to rally around and the most exciting to watch.
Our Springfield Cougars were the most lauded athletes at our school, and though it wasn't exactly the same as the private prep schools the East Coast is lousy with, it resembled many other suburban high schools in the area: limited diversity, a mild entitlement complex, squarely middle class. The urban lacrosse boom in New York, as I saw it unfold over ten years since my last game I traded in my stick for a trombone , had a different face.
Previously reserved for the white and wealthy, lacrosse appeared to have grown among athletes of all races and social classes. It was now finally starting to look like a sport for everyone. New York University started its lacrosse team in , the very first collegiate team to appear in the country.
Lacrosse was a game played by Native Americans hundreds of years ago—with no pads, helmets, or nets—often as a way for tribes to problem-solve without resorting to fighting or violence. When there was a stalemate in decision-making within communities, Native Americans would take to the field and sort out conflicts there.
Predictably, when French colonizers arrived and saw the swiftness and grace of lacrosse , they took it as their own, beginning the earliest leagues in Canada and bringing it across the Atlantic for its first games in the mids. Those leagues then trickled down across the border, from Montreal and otherwise, making young America lacrosse's newest and most supportive home. In June of , the New York Times reported on the founding of the first National Lacrosse Association in New York: "A number of delegates from various lacrosse clubs came together at the Astor House last evening and formed a national association.
Certainly, an image of privilege—white, monied, male, dutifully educated, all old New York qualifiers—but the story ends with a precious quip. After all, lacrosse was as foreign to elite white men who bogarted it from the Native Americans as it was to anyone else. Lacrosse was exciting and fast and athletically available. It's no wonder that it appealed. As institutions of higher learning reserved for white, rich men appropriated the sport into their closed-door worlds, lacrosse then ducked back into itself, becoming exclusive and foreign again to many.
The Northeastern corridor saw the rise of lacrosse from the National Lacrosse Association's s beginnings into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, dominating in storied universities like Johns Hopkins, Duke, Penn. Lacrosse, with its French name, newly-required expensive equipment, and small but captive audience, developed into the ultimate prestige sport. It was a game for white people—white people with a lot of money.
Lacrosse carries with it the totem of most things American—festering class conflict. Sale Ctr. At MyRePipe, our number one concern is the safety of your property when pipes burst or leak. Our aim is to help you in your time of need, on time — on budget. Get involved. Greetings to my affiliate peers! This year seems to be moving along at warp speed! As Affiliate Director this year, I have had the esteemed honor to interview several other affiliate members and provide their insight.
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A highly motivated individual, Aimee completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at 19 from the University of South Carolina, and two years later completed her Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling from the Medical Univ. After a few years of working as a Medical Case Manager, she moved into a Medical Sales Rep position where she found sales to be her forte.
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