After a year-long effort and overcoming some challenges to reach its goal, 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 wearing the Bloomingdale uniform.

The Bloomingdale Lacrosse Club was formed in December 2013 to provide an opportunity for Bloomingdale High School students to play Varsity Lacrosse.

If things go well this season, the club will join the list of area schools now under the direction of Hillsborough County Lacrosse Alliance (HALAX) a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works with Hillsborough County Public Schools to manage the transition of high school lacrosse from a club sport to an FHSAA-sanctioned sport.

The ten high schools currently included in the program, which is offered as a “pay-to-play” sport, are Alonso, Durant, Freedom, Jefferson, Newsome, Plant, Robinson, Steinbrenner, Tampa Bay Tech and Wharton.

“It’s great to finally be playing lacrosse in a Bloomingdale uniform,” said Bloomingdale High School senior, Ryan Knapp, who has been playing lacrosse for years. “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.”

With 23 boys and 12 girls on its current roster and coached by Brad Gordon, Bloomingdale Lacrosse is actively seeking players, especially for the girls teams as it lays the groundwork for lacrosse to become an FHSAA-sanctioned Varsity sport at Bloomingdale High School by the start of the next season.

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

While the majority of the players come from Bloomingdale High, the program welcomes players from Strawberry Crest, East Bay and Foundation Christian Academy.

The 2014 season was scheduled to start on Wednesday, February 19 and concludes at the end of April.  Home field is at Valrico Park located at 707 South Miller Rd. in Valrico as the squads will be playing teams from around the area such as Wesley Chapel, Northwest Tampa, Summerlin, St. Petersburg and even Port Charlotte, Sarasota and Ocala.

“We are also actively fundraising,” Dea said. “Any money we raise will go toward the fees we will need to qualify for the pay-to-play program next school year.  Our team will be selling T-shirts, holding car washes and garage sales.  We are also accepting community and corporate donations.

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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