Lacrosse, deemed the fastest-growing sport in the nation, also may be the fastest-growing sport in Lake Zurich, judging by the numbers.
The Lake Zurich Lacrosse Club was founded in 2003 with 28 kids. Today, there are more than 500 athletes participating in Lake Zurich lacrosse, said Dave Kintzer, president and one of the founders of the club.
“Once kids try lacrosse, they fall in love with it. It’s a constantly moving action-packed type of sport,” Kintzer said.
Lacrosse, which has elements similar to basketball, hockey and soccer, also is a strategy game, Kintzer said. “It’s like a chess match,” he said.
Lacrosse traces its roots to Native American games and rituals. The sport has been played in Eastern colleges since the 19th century, but in the last 10 years, it has become a popular sport across the nation.
Lacrosse is the fastest-growing sport at any level, US Lacrosse CEO Steve Stenersen said in the March issue of SportsTravelMagazine.com. US Lacrosse is the sport’s national governing body. In the last 10 years, more than 350 universities and colleges have added lacrosse programs.
The Lake Zurich Lacrosse Club started with 28 high school boys in 2003. The club added a girls’ team in 2006. In 2007, the club added a youth feeder program, which has been extremely popular.
“Lacrosse is the fastest game on two feet. It’s a great spectator sport,” Kintzer said.
One of the benefits lacrosse offers kids is that it really teaches teamwork, said Julie Bryniczka, head coach of the girls varsity team.
“The game is very fast-paced, so it keeps everyone focused; teams win and lose together because they need to work together to maintain that high level of play for 50 minutes … it is 100 percent a team effort,” Bryniczka said. She added that each team member has an opportunity to contribute to the team and each position is valuable.
The Lake Zurich Lacrosse Club will host matches between the varsity teams and alumni, some of whom are on college lacrosse teams. The event will be held June 13, at the stadium. The girls team starts at 7 p.m. and the boys game follows at 8 p.m.