Stafford Lacrosse League starts season; open to younger players

By Wally Robinson - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Sun., May. 8, 2011
The 14- to 18-year-old game between Stafford and RHAM on opening day of the season. Photos by Wally Robinson.
The 14- to 18-year-old game between Stafford and RHAM on opening day of the season. Photos by Wally Robinson.

The Stafford Lacrosse League is now open to youngsters aged 8 to 18. Started four years ago by Al Warren for 14- to 18-year-olds, it expanded to include 12- to 14-year-olds two years later, and this year added the even younger Bantam Division.

“It used to be that if the kids wanted to play, they had to go to Somers,” said league Vice President Sanny Chappell, whose sons Chris, 15, and Zack, 8, play in the league. Chappell and league President Rick Ward have been the driving forces behind the league, largely paying for uniforms and equipment out of their own pockets.

“The Stafford Boys’ Club and Stafford Family Chiropractic helped out with donations,” Chappell said, “and we’re always trying to raise money through bake sales, car washes and so on. The parents have been great about contributing the baked goods for us.”

While Ward sees to the coaching and conditioning, Chappell has dealt with the nuts and bolts involved in getting the league up and running. Rolling her eyes, she said, “I didn’t realize what I was getting into. First, I had to find people to serve on the Board of Directors. Then I had to write a mission statement, create a set of by-laws, and send out flyers about the league to all the schools. I had to be really careful about the language I used, to make sure people understood that the league was independent, not a function of the school system.”

More than 100 young athletes are enrolled in the program, with each of the three age groups fielding four teams. Practice began in March and the first games were played on April 30 at Stafford Middle School. The regular season runs into June, followed by playoffs and the championship rounds. For more information, e-mail the league at staffordyouthlacrosse@hotmail.com.


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