As the regular readers know, a group of guys from Drake University fielded a team in the inaugural box lacrosse league. Most of the guys had some experience with field lacrosse and were happy to be playing again. As the league wrapped up, the group started thinking about fielding an official club team.
Valley Coach Zach Zielonko's experience as both a player and coach at Kansas State gave the Drake guys some basic knowledge of the MCLA. I gave them the contact info for the league, Iowa, Iowa State, and a gentleman that helped found the program at Cornell College. They then set out to recruit and file the paper work.
Ben Shoff, the man behind the effort, has been helping with the Valley practices. He informed me on Monday that their efforts to establish the club are going well. They have around 18 guys already; most will return in the fall, including Shoff. They have even found a goalie on campus, something they lacked in the box league (Ithaca graduate Jason Fasulo played the pipes for the them this year).
Having passed the first round of approvals, the school senate is set to vote later this week for full approval. This vote determines whether or not the lacrosse club will be recognized as an official school club and eligible to use the Drake Bulldogs name, logo, and colors. Based on the school's actions thus far, Shoff is confident that they will be approved.
Shoff said the club is leaning toward the MCLA which would give them the option of joining Iowa State in the Upper Midwest Lacrosse League or Iowa and the school's biggest rival, Creighton, in the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference.
Because of cost considerations, the team is also looking into the Great Lakes Lacrosse League. Wisconsin fielded three teams in the league through last season before joining the MCLA this year. The Badgers still have two teams in the GLLL. The league is primarily in Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Michigan Peninsula, but North Dakota is also a member (having moved from MCLA). The regional set up is more cost effective.
Regardless of which league the Bulldogs join, the team will have the full support of the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association. This is just one more step in the establishment of lacrosse in Des Moines. Hopefully Drake's team helps inspire more high school and/or college club teams in the metro.
As a Drake alum, I couldn't be happier. I only wish I had the funds to properly equip the team...