Lacrosse club team find chances to compete

Corey Korth Reporter

 The fastest growing sport in North America is also one of the oldest.  Lacrosse descends from a stickball game played by Native American tribes as far back as the 14th century.  European settlers modified the sport, establishing the basis for how lacrosse is played today. 

 ccording to the 2013 U.S. Lacrosse Participation Report, lacrosse has the highest growth rate of any organized sport at the youth, high school and collegiate levels.  Since the first participation report was released in 2001, players have increased from 250,000 to nearly 750,000 in 2013.

 ixty new varsity programs were added at colleges in 2013, including a club team at South Dakota State.  On Saturday, March 28, SDSU will host the first ever collegiate lacrosse tournament in the history of South Dakota at Fishback Soccer Park.

 ophomore Jorgen Dahl, the team’s coach, player and founder, is proud to help grow the sport in South Dakota.

 “It’s really exciting,” Dahl  said.  “For a college tournament to be here in South Dakota is huge.”

 oalie Jon Kor is competing in his first lacrosse season and was convinced by friends to try it.  Six months later, he is excited to be part of history.

 “It’s fun to pioneer it,” Kor said.  “It is a growing sport and I think in the future there’s going to be a lot more kids playing it and to be able to say that we had the first tournament here will be pretty cool.”

 had Vossekuil, the Intramural Sports, Sports Clubs and Summer Camps coordinator at SDSU, said the progress Dahl and the lacrosse team has made in only its second year is impressive.

 “I don’t know if I’ve seen a club grow so quickly,” Vossekuil said, adding that the lacrosse team has provided a template that other sports clubs can use because of their willingness to explore new possibilities. 

 ahl estimates 60 percent of the roster had played lacrosse prior to this year, and everyone has at least one tournament experience after playing six games at the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison in October.  The Jacks went 3-3.

 eams traveling to Brookings for the tournament this weekend are University of North Dakota, Bethel University and Morehead-Concordia.  Each team will play two games, with SDSU playing UND and Morehead-Concordia.

 ll four teams are members of the Great Lakes Lacrosse League, which enrolls 41 teams in six geographically-based divisions. 

 he games are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Fishback Park.  Admission is free and Kor is hoping for a good student and community turnout.

 “We’d love to see a lot of people come out,” Kor said.  “Come be a part of the fastest growing sport in America.”