Editor’s Note: Please welcome Lance Antoine back to LAS! Lance is back in Northwest Ohio this Summer, and he’s looking to play some lacrosse! He’s done some research on what kinds of opportunities exist in that area, and he’s here to help the NW Ohio lacrosse community unite!
Ohio, it’s not a huge state for lacrosse, but that is really changing quite rapidly. The three biggest areas for lacrosse in Ohio, in my opinion, would have to be the Cleveland area, Columbus, and the Northwest area.
Columbus and Cleveland definitely host their share of dominant teams such as Dublin-Jerome, Upper Arlington, Rocky River, and University School. Don’t get me wrong though, Northwest Ohio has some top level teams too, like Sylvania Southview or Toledo St. Francis, but they have something better than elite teams, and that is expansion!
From Toledo to Bowling Green is considered the heart of Northwest Ohio by many. Toledo is the primary location though for lacrosse growth. It is located very closely to the Ohio-Michigan state line, and in the summer, kids from all over Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan flock to play in the local summer recreation leagues.
For even younger kids, there are programs through Sylvania to play all summer long. For middle school- college aged players there is a program called ” T- town”, which runs for a few weeks during the summer. Both programs strive to develop players’ skills by hands-on coaching and getting experience through playing pick-up games.
Although nothing has been announced there is talk of a recreational box league being started too. For players that are looking for a little more advanced experience there are many camps around to attend. Almost every high school puts on a camp for 3rd-8th graders.
For high school players, if you’re selected you can attend the Top 100 camp at Ohio State. This is for the top 100 high school players from around the state. If you don’t get selected though, Ohio State does hold a camp open to all players. For anyone looking to travel a little ways North, Nike puts on a camp. Every summer Nike Lacrosse tours America and put’s on various lacrosse camps for kids 10-18. There is one at Adrian College, in Adrian Michigan, which is about an hour and a half from Toledo. Also there is a camp in Defiance, Ohio held yearly. It’s called “Revolution” and is mainly for high school and middle school aged players.
Ohio’s first and only professional team, Ohio Machine, puts on a camp for boys in 6th-8th grade, the first annual camp will be held in July. Lastly, the most abundant of all opportunities is playing on a travel team. There’s 10+ travel teams around Toledo within an hour of commute. All the travel teams are filled with talent and go to some very prestigious show-cases and tournaments. If you are willing to spend a little more time and travel you can find a team around here that goes to the Cherry-Bomb tournament in Traverse City, Michigan about 7 hours away. Cherry Bomb is the biggest and most well known tournament around, and only the best of the best get to compete in it.
So, for whatever reason if you find yourself in Northwest Ohio this summer, and you happen to play lacrosse there’s no excuse not to be active. From the leisure of recreation ball to the fast paced travel teams there’s a speed of lacrosse for everybody from ages 7-19 to get involved with. So all in all, Northwest Ohio is a land of opportunity for growing the game and all things summer lacrosse.