Bringing lacrosse to Mansfield is the goal

02/03/2014 3:49 PM

02/03/2014 3:50 PM

The Mansfield Parks and Recreation Department is curious about the game of lacrosse.

As the game increases in popularity across the region and area, the city’s recreation department is searching for the level of interest in the Mansfield community.

In an effort to gauge the interest, Andrew Binz, Recreation Superintendent for the last 13 years, said the Parks and Recreation Department is seeking those who would have an interest in learning and playing the sport.

The department plans to start by conducting lacrosse lessons, later looking at the ability to conduct a league.

Local lacrosse enthusiasts have been in contact with the recreation department, willing and eager to teach and coach youth in learning the sport.

“The department is just a liaison between the sports associations and the city,” Binz said. “We’ve posted the inquiry on Facebook and in our spring brochure to ask if there’s an interest.”

The ability to find playing fields for a league within the city may be a limiting factor, but conducting lessons may be the first step.

“I’m sure at some point it will happen if there’s enough interest,” Binz said. “We’ll just start with basic classes and go from there. The intent is for starting with teaching the basics to younger kids.”

Mansfield residents Paul Ferguson and Rob Davis are spearheading the push.

Ferguson said he’s been in Texas for 17 years and grew up playing lacrosse. A move to Mansfield for his job had him searching for an opportunity for his child to play in a league but found the city without a program.

“I guess I’m the point person to make it happen,” Ferguson said. “We want to just start spreading the word and see what the interest level is. We want to know if there is sufficient demand, and I agreed with the city to hold basic skills clinics to start.”

Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the country as well as one of the fastest games played on a field.

Locally, Southlake, Plano, Fort Worth, Colleyville and Keller have started lacrosse programs recently and are now fielding high school teams. They compete in the Texas High School Lacrosse League.

Ferguson said the grand vision is to have a youth league and let the growth occur according to the numbers and interest level.

The age level for learning lacrosse can start “as soon as kids are willing to pick up a stick,” Ferguson said.

Binz said age isn’t an issue in the initial plea for interested players. “We just want to gauge the interest across the board,” he said. “If there’s a market, and we have instructors at the activities center, we’re more than happy to help try and generate some interest.”

Although limited field space may be a hindrance in getting immediate leagues developed, Binz said “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Mansfield, without a local ice arena, has established a Mansfield ISD hockey team, as an example.

Those interested in lacrosse should contact Binz at Andrew.Binz@mansfield-tx.gov or Ferguson at phfergusjr@gmail.com.

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