Boys and Girls Lacrosse named VHSL sport, first spring season

THE BOYS LACROSSE team dominates the First Colonial High School Patriots after Attacker Aidan Bruehl scores a goal. Teamates Griffin Butt and Josh Provencher come over to celebrate. (courtesy of Stacy Price)

After years of being in the shadows of varsity sports, lacrosse has now been recognized by Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) and the Virginia High School League (VHSL), as a true varsity sport.  In the past, every school was able to have a club team, but would receive no investment in the team from home schools.

In a recent report from Channel 13 News Now, an estimate for costs as a VHSL sanctioned sport is expected to set the division back roughly  $500,000 a year, with a startup cost of around $800,000.  However, VBCPS Superintendent Aaron Spence believes it to be an important investment.

CHS has fielded boys and girls lacrosse club teams for decades, but not all schools in the district were able to field club teams or drum up the interest necessary to make it work.  Over the past five or so years, VBCPS has negotiated terms with VHSL to recognize the players and teams that have given so much time to the sport.

“We are incredibly excited that lacrosse is finally being recognized as a VHSL sport in Virginia Beach.  With the years of hard work as a club sport under our belts, we can’t wait to show the community of Cox what our sport has to offer this spring,” new Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Joe Zirpolo said.

One of the main issues lacrosse club teams faced in the past was where they played their games.  They had to compete in all different areas of Virginia, not only Virginia Beach, such as the Princess Anne Sports Complex, Norfolk Collegiate, and Warhill Sports Complex in Williamsburg.  This season though,  they will share the football field with the soccer teams for their home games.

“As a freshman, I never thought I would get the chance to play lacrosse as a school sport.  After the team was a club for almost 40 years, it’s a privilege for me and my team to be able to show off our talents for the school. I’m excited about the upcoming season and finally able to show my falcon pride,¨ senior midfielder Noah Fanton said.