Collage_GirlsAfter a year-long effort, the Bloomingdale Lacrosse Club, representing Bloomingdale High School students, will have a chance to prove its worth during the 2014 spring season.

“As a parent of past and current high school lacrosse players, I am happy to give my time and effort so these students can have the ability to play lacrosse now and hopefully in the near future as an official Bloomingdale High School varsity sport,” said club president, Dea Knapp, whose two children Ryan, 17, and Evan, 15, are both looking forward to playing the sport and wearing the Bloomingdale uniform.

With 23 boys and 12 girls on its current roster and coached by Brad Gordon, the club provides an opportunity for Collage_Curran PortoBloomingdale High School students to play varsity lacrosse and lays the groundwork for lacrosse to become an FHSAA-sanctioned varsity sport at Bloomingdale High School by the start of the next season.

The list of area schools now supported by Hillsborough County Lacrosse Alliance (HALAX), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works with Hillsborough County Public Schools, includes Alonso, Durant, Freedom, Jefferson, Newsome, Plant, Robinson, Steinbrenner, Tampa Bay Tech, and Wharton. It is managing the transition of high school lacrosse from a club sport to an FHSAA-sanctioned sport. HALAX offers a “pay-to-play” program.

COllage_Ryan Knapp 2“I wish this movement had started when I was younger so that I could have played it as a full-fledged varsity sport in high school,” said Bloomingdale High School senior, Ryan Knapp, who has been playing lacrosse for years.

While the majority of the players come from Bloomingdale High, the program is actively seeking players, especially for the girls teams and welcomes players from Strawberry Crest, East Bay and Foundation Christian Academy.

“No experience is necessary, just the desire and willingness to learn and play,” Dea said.

Home field is at Valrico Park, located at 707 S. Miller Rd. in Valrico as the squads will play  teams from around the area.

Any player or coach who is interested in being a part of the boys or girls Bloomingdale Lacrosse Club can e-mail for more information.


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