The modern version of America’s fastest growing sport finds it’s place in Brookings and will be competitive as of this month as one of the first lacrosse programs in the state thanks SDSU freshman Jorgen Dahl.
Dahl conceived the idea of starting a lacrosse program after playing for 15 years in the Twin Cities, a lacrosse hot spot. Dahl looks to reignite his love for the game after a less than perfect senior season playing for Jefferson Senior High School in Bloomington, Minn. coached by Scott Cater.
On the women’s side, freshman Katie Torgerson-Wickre looks to follow in the footsteps of the groundbreaking men’s lacrosse team as she works to build South Dakota’s first women’s lacrosse program. Torgerson-Wickre graduated from St. Michael-Albertville high school in St. Michael, Minn. where she had been coached by Jillian Anderson and Haley Pratt for three years.
Youth and collegiate lacrosse programs are popping up exponentially across the Midwest every year. As SDSU hosts a large number of Minnesota students, more and more Minnesota lacrosse players are bringing their talent westward.
“I want to bring lacrosse to the Midwest and show people how amazing it is” Torgerson-Wickre said. “It is my favorite sport to play and it’s so new that anybody can join.”
The westward growth of the game from the east coast has made the Midwest an increasingly popular region for collegiate coaches to recruit from.
U.S. Lacrosse provides the opportunity to thrive, offering new equipment and funding to new programs. The inception of new programs has allowed first-time players to experience the fastest sport on two feet.
Lacrosse is considered by many to be a mash-up of soccer, hockey, football and basketball.
The game as we know it was adopted by European immigrants from that of which has been played by Native Americans for centuries. Lacrosse still plays a significant role in the lives of Eastern Woodlands and Plains tribes across North America.
Lacrosse in centuries past was played for numerous reasons, ranging from war to spiritual practice and even celebration. It was not until the late 1800s that the game was adopted, modified and brought over to Europe.
Jackrabbit women’s lacrosse is currently in the early production stages. SDSU men’s club lacrosse is actively growing with 22 names on the roster.
The team is scheduled to compete in four tournaments against local club programs across Minnesota and the Dakotas such as NSDU, USD, UND, St. Mary’s, Carleton, Hamlin, Concordia and St. Scholastica.
“We are open to talk and help this sport grow here in Brookings,” Dahl said.
Between Dahl and Torgerson-Wickre, these SDSU students will put South Dakota lacrosse on the map in addition to a handful of youth programs throughout Sioux Falls and the Black Hills.
The Jackrabbit men currently practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 10 to 11:00 p.m. in the Barn. The first matchup will feature USD in Vermillion on March 22.