Today we travel just 12 short years back in time. The year is 2000, and it’s LAS co-founder Jeff Brunelle’s first time ever to pick up a stick. Take it away JB!
Now I know the year 2000 may not be considered “Old School” to all, and that’s totally understandable. However, it’s just about as Old School as I can get when it comes to the sport of lacrosse! Not everyone was born with a stick in their hands!
I received an email from my father a few days ago, included was an online photo album of scans he’d done of all my old sports team portraits. When I saw the one of my first lacrosse team, I couldn’t help but reminisce a little, so here goes…
The first time I ever heard about lacrosse was in 8th grade. A local high school club team had just started up, and one of the high school players dropped by our school to give a demo to our class.
That spring, a junior high league fielded four or so teams, and I jumped at the opportunity to never set foot on a rubber track again (I was a slow chubby kid, why would I ever want to run track in the first place?). My parents took me over to Gart Sports to get a Brine Shotgun head and aluminum shaft, and I remember showing up to our first practice to see that EVERY player on our team had the same setup.
The team was made up of kids from all the parochial schools in our area, and we were a motley crue. Ranging from multi-sport athletes to guys who’d never played a sport in their life, this was an opportunity for all of us to be a part of something from the ground up.
We were able to learn how to play lacrosse before many others our age, and in a way, we became the experts, the lacrosse salesmen… an army of junior high game growers, if you will.
Each year, the league fielded more teams in more age groups thanks to passionate coaches, league administrators and kids like us taking our sticks to school and spreading the good word about the fastest sport on two feet.
Today, 12 years later, lacrosse is BOOMING in Boise, Idaho. I wish I had some statistics on hand to share, but for now you’ll just have to trust me. It’s growing faster than I ever could have imagined, and much of the growth can be attributed to an incredible core group of individuals who started playing (or coaching or administrating) back around the turn of the century.
Every now and then I run into one of my old teammates and it takes me back. I think “back in the day… we wore porthole mesh football jerseys and people asked me why I was carrying around a butterfly net.” For Boise, that’s old school.
It may not have been that long ago, but every town has to start somewhere. Idaho Lacrosse, we love it!
If YOU have some Old School you’re just aching to get off your chest, then send it in to us! We want the world to see your old mustache, short shorts and porthole mesh jersey. Old traditional twigs are also appreciated!