A year has passed since I started this blog and officially declared my desire to bring lacrosse to Des Moines. I never would have imagined that things would be as crazy as they are now. I never even thought about making a real website.
All I hoped for was that I could find a couple of guys that wanted to toss a lacrosse ball around. Eventually we would get new guys out and we would slowly build something. Maybe in a few years we could get a team together to play in the GPLL or something or at least have some short field box-style games.
Then things took off rapidly. I got hooked up with the then-recently established Valley/Waukee team (now officially Valley Tigers Lacrosse Club). That lead to a rapid education in the game and a gig as a volunteer assistant coach. Soon after a modest number of adults showed interest and I set up Toss Around events when Valley was not playing.
When summer came, we had enough guys to play lax on Thursdays and Saturdays for a while. Eventually schedules caused us to drop to Thursday nights only, but we still managed to get fairly decent numbers for most of the summer. As more adults came out, we saw more high school players and even some junior high kids got into the mix.
With summer turning into fall, the summer league wrapped up and Valley practices began in earnest. A rescheduled fall ball tournament in Lincoln looms ahead of us as does a scrimmage game at Valley Stadium. The city's first ever box lacrosse league launches in just under two weeks on November 5. Topping it all off, Wells Fargo Arena will host a National Lacrosse League preseason game between the Minnesota Swarm and Colorado Mammoth a month later on December 5.
Although I have had little to do with it, the women's game is starting to take off here as well. We will continue to support their efforts and may be able to bring the high school team into the Valley club program.
As we officially head into the second year of the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association, steps are underway to improve the organization as a whole and continue spreading the sport through the community. With the help of the NLL game, we hope to further increase overall participation and are making plans for a potential middle school program. The field league should be more structured next summer, but we will also plan to have regular pickup games as well. If things continue at this pace, additional high school club programs should not be too far off...
Here is to hoping that 2010 is even more productive than this year was!