If community members went to the Shelburne Community School fields on a Saturday morning in May they would be exposed to 60 first and second grade girls and boys playing lacrosse. That same morning a 7/8 grade boys team would be playing another team from Northern Vermont at The Field House. That’s because whether you are a kindergarten girl or an eighth grade boy, the Shelburne Youth Lacrosse Program has a place for you. The lacrosse program, run by Shelburne Parks and Recreation, offers an opportunity for all children of all ages to play lacrosse.
Shelburne lacrosse has grown tremendously in the past four years. One of the philosophies of the program is inclusiveness, to get girls and boys of all ability levels playing lacrosse. As a result, there were 250 kids in the program in 2012.
Children, age kindergarten-2nd grade, learn basic lacrosse skills in a fun environment. The K-2 program is unique, for very few towns in Vermont offer lacrosse at this age level. Shelburne is fortunate to have a dedicated group of coaches working at this level and making lacrosse possible. Girls and boys then move on to travel teams at the grades 3-8 levels and play games against teams from other towns.
There are no middle school teams or private clubs at the 7/8 grade level. Boys 7/8 coach Andy McClellan commented, “If Shelburne kids are playing lacrosse in middle school, they are playing for Shelburne Parks and Recreation. The inclusive philosophy continues into grades 7 and 8, and as a result the Shelburne boys 7/8 team had close to 40 players last year, the most ever at that level,” he continued. “Two teams were created and every kid got lots of playing time. The level of lacrosse played was high and one of the teams went undefeated and won their league’s championship. The other team played a less competitive schedule and gave kids a chance to develop lacrosse skills at an appropriate level. Giving all kids an opportunity to play lacrosse is the goal,” says McClellan.
Registration for the lacrosse program begins Jan. 28. Visit the Shelburne Lacrosse website at www.shelburnelacrosse.org for registration details or contact Shelburne Parks and Recreation. Scholarships are available for players in need.