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Revere School Board Officailly Recognizes Lacrosse

Varsity - 2008 Season
Posted Thursday, October 09, 2008 by West Side Leader

Revere school board officially recognizes lacrosse as school sport

10/9/2008 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

BATH/RICHFIELD — After being played on the club level for several years, the Revere High School lacrosse teams may have scored their biggest goal yet.

In July, the Revere Local Schools Board of Education officially recognized lacrosse as a school sport. The school board also approved a three-year implementation timeline for official recognition of the sport.

Then-superintendent Elisabeth McNicholas noted some people have been waiting a long time to see lacrosse officially approved.

Peg Stalter, parent representative for the high school girls team, called the decision “long-deserved.”

“I think it’s great thing,” said Stalter, who has had three children play the sport in the district. “A lot of people have worked very hard for a number of years to get it to this point. It’s been a long time coming.”

According to Todd Osborn, athletic director for Revere Local Schools, the decision was made due to the dedication shown by those involved with lacrosse in the school district.

“The program was able to maintain success, consistency in numbers and showed growth over a long period of time,” he said.

Osborn said the decision to officially recognize lacrosse as a school sport does carry financial ramifications for the district.

“When lacrosse becomes school sponsored,” he said, “the athletic department will take on an added cost. We estimate $100,000. That includes equipment, busing, dues, fees, supplies, uniforms, etc.”

Osborn said the district has laid out a three-year implementation timeline.

“In year one, Revere Local Schools will provide transportation and availability to a trainer, similar to other sports,” he said. “In year two, the athletic department will handle the scheduling of games. The game field and practice field will be maintained by the school district.”

In the third year, he said, all equipment, coaches and other costs associated with lacrosse will be paid by the athletic department and the school district.

Doug Stalter, head coach of the Revere High School boys lacrosse team, said the students who play for the lacrosse teams will benefit the most from the change.

“The most important item from my angle is the increased post-high school opportunities our players will see,” he said. “The formalized school status will completely change the manner in which college coaches perceive our program, and with the rapid growth of collegian lacrosse programs, there are a lot of athletic scholarships out there to be had. Even if a majority of the players do not see scholarship opportunities right off the bat, affiliation with a varsity-sanctioned sport can possibly also help the admission process to their selected school.”

According to JoAnn Larsen, former president of Revere’s lacrosse club, the district currently has 130 participants on five teams: high school boys and girls; middle school boys and girls; and youth boys for fifth- and sixth-graders.

Larsen — who described lacrosse as a combination of basketball, soccer and hockey — said the Revere Lacrosse Club was “formed with 18 boys in 1993 by Bob Heubeck. Lacrosse became a school-recognized club sport in the Revere Local School District in 2004.”

Larsen said the district’s lacrosse teams enjoyed plenty of success in recent years.

“The Revere High School boys won the Division III state championship in 2000,” she said. “The Revere High School girls won the state championship Club Division in 2007. And the Revere High School girls had a strong season in 2008, [losing] in double overtime in the semifinal championship game.”

Allie Schuring, who coached the high school girls team for the past four years, has been a long-time proponent of the change.

“Four years ago, the school ‘recognized us,’ meaning we could use the Revere name, but we still weren’t part of the athletic budget,” she said. “We had our own board and the [students] paid to play. So, we basically ran it outside of the school.”

And although lacrosse was not officially recognized as a school sport, Schuring said, the students who have played have been able to “letter” in the sport. However, she added, the objective has been to get the district to officially recognize lacrosse as a school sport.

“This has been the club’s goal in general — to become a full-fledged school sport,” she said.

And just as that goal was accomplished, the recently married Schuring left the team to take a new job.

“I took the same position at Jackson High School because I moved to Canton,” she said. “It was a distance issue.”

In the interim, Osborn said he is working with Doug Stalter to find a new coach for the girls team.

Stalter said the new coach will have big shoes to fill.

“The coach would be taking over a very successful team,” he said.

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