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Dec. 8, 2014

University considers D1 lacrosse for next season

By Kevin Liszka

A recent meeting of Cleveland State University’s enrollment task force yielded to the idea of fielding men’s and women’s NCAA lacrosse teams beginning in 2016.

“The move would represent a way to get kids who might not otherwise come to Cleveland State to choose CSU,” John Parry, director of athletics who serves as a member on the task force, said.

Lacrosse is America’s fastest growing sport — the attraction being its semi-contact, fast-paced style that still retains a high level of player safety compared to other sports, such as football and hockey.

In a press release, U.S. Lacrosse reported significantly higher participation at both the high school and college levels — with a record 750,000 players nationwide playing organized lacrosse in 2013.|
Sixty universities started NCAA programs last year, including eight at the Division I level.

Two students who could not be more ecstatic with the news are juniors Nick Yormick and Anthony Estremera. Yormick and Estremera, who graduated together from Benedictine, founded the men’s lacrosse club two years ago.

“Absolutely, we’re excited for it,” Yormick said. “I think there is a market here for it.”

The pair said that the men’s club team has drawn crowds in excess of 100 people for their six games this year at Krenzler Field.

“We’ve got a lot of people on the team who are also in fraternities on campus, and they really embrace it,” Yormick said.

The students, who said they are in the process of establishing a women’s club for next year, said they have been in contact with Parry and the athletics department with their input as this situation develops.

Parry would not commit to figures in terms of what the program would cost at this point, but he said some outside funding might be sought to help with startup expenses.

Parry said the teams would play their games at Krenzler Field and share existing facilities with the soccer team. Yormick said he would definitely try out for the new team if given the opportunity.

“It’d be bittersweet being a senior,” Yormick said. “But to play D-1 lacrosse has long been a dream of mine.”

Estremera, a Physical Therapy major, was more reserved.

“I’ll have to see what my course load is and whether or not I get an internship,” Estremera said.

An official announcement is expected next month when the task force reconvenes to discuss the matter.