SPECIAL TO THE HERALD The Cranston Lacrosse Club's first year was a major success. The club captured two state titles, with the boys 5th-6th grade and boys 7th-8th grade teams capturing top honors and both went undefeated. 5th-6th grade head coach Bob
The Cranston Lacrosse Club’s first year was a major success. The club captured two state titles, with the boys 5th-6th grade and boys 7th-8th grade teams capturing top honors and both went undefeated. 5th-6th grade head coach Bob D’amico was pleased with their success. “The boys worked hard all season, put in a solid effort and really came together as a team as the season progressed. We also had terrific parental support,” said D’amico. Jason Levy, head coach of the 7th-8th grade team said, “With an undefeated inaugural season, can’t wait for the boys to defend,” said Levy.
The Cranston Lacrosse Club fields local Cranston teams that are part of the Rhode Island Youth Lacrosse Organization. They compete with over 40 towns from across the state that field boys and girls lacrosse programs. Both championship teams are due to be honored at the state house in early January. It is anticipated that Speaker Nick Mattiello will read a proclamation to honor their accomplishment with the players and families in attendance, the event will be televised on Capital TV.
Club President Pete Kelleher was asked about the inaugural season. “It’s great to see the hard work pay off. We are fortunate to have a mix of dedicated coaches and parents that wanted to see our fist year be a success,” said Kelleher, who went on to say that it was important for the club to have a positive culture and wanted to welcome all comers in Cranston that are interested in trying the sport. “Winning feels good, but the focus is on the experience for the families and that was a priority in our first season and will continue.” The Cranston Lacrosse Club fields teams that compete at the D1 and D2 levels for both boys and girls from K-8th grade.
An interesting dynamic that occurred this year, out of the roughly 200 youths involved in the first-year program, almost half were girls. “A benchmark for a healthy program is balance across genders. We anticipate the interest in the sport of lacrosse to grow and hope to facilitate efforts to continue to accommodate both genders moving forward,” said Kelleher.
Girls head coaches Bernie Lee and Kerri Kelleher saw such a turnout in the 7th-8th grade division, that a second team was created as interest continues to explode in girls lacrosse across Rhode Island. The club also collaborated with Brown athletics for the girls 3rd-4th grade team to take the field during halftime at the Brown vs. Dartmouth game this past spring. “We had some great experiences this year that helped add to the camaraderie of our first-year program and made it special for the kids,” said Pete Kelleher.
With early registration looking looming, it is anticipated that the club will continue to accelerate registration growth for the 2019 season. If families would like to get involved, they can visit the www.cranstonlacrosseclub.com website. The club is a registered non-profit that has a mission around extending the awareness of lacrosse in the community, fostering a positive experience with the sport of lacrosse, and participating in healthy competition.