When I started playing lacrosse at 14 years old, it was 2002 and the popularity of the sport was just beginning to pick up steam in the American South. I played for a decent high school in Tennessee and competed against a dedicated handful of programs across the state. I remember that time fondly with a trickle of new teams joining the independent state league every year. It was a close knit community. When the rare player from Tennessee went to play NCAA lacrosse, it felt like they were an ambassador for the state, showing those from the traditional hotbeds that we could compete at their level.
For me I played intercollegiate club lacrosse at Ohio University. Trying out for that squad was a great challenge, and when I made the team I was so excited to represent the South. Most of the guys didn’t know the game had spread that far.
How different things are in 2017. I moved to Atlanta from New York in 2013 and found a robust lacrosse community across the metro area I hardly recognized. All across the South the game had grown by leaps and bounds, and the emergence of youth programs and travel teams had dramatically improved the quality of play. I’m thrilled to see kids getting into the game at earlier and earlier ages, and that’s why I want to document the South’s continued improvement as a lacrosse community in this blog. This is an exciting time with high school competition ramping up and college programs popping up left and right. I want to give a space for the players, coaches and fans spreading this wonderful game down here to be celebrated. More than anything I want to grow the game that has given so much to me.