September 21, 2016

CSU men’s lacrosse coming spring 2017

Cleveland State University will unveil its newest sports program this spring with the inaugural season of men’s lacrosse. Planning for the sport will come to fruition when the team starts competing in 2017.

The amount of preparation to get another sports program up and running at CSU was a difficult task.

When plans were made to start a lacrosse team, one of the first steps was finding a head coach. Looking for one didn’t have to go further than native Clevelander, Dylan Sheridan.

“Fortunately, [CSU] contacted me [for the head coach position] and I was excited about it,” Sheridan said. “Being a local guy -- I’m from Cleveland -- the idea of having a Division I [lacrosse] team [at CSU] was pretty exciting.”

After Sheridan was hired as head coach in July 2015, the work began to find student athletes to fill the roster. Those on the team now come from places far beyond just Cleveland.

“We’ve been able to attract kids I think from 17 or 18 states and Canada,” Sheridan said. “So kids [are] coming from all over the country to come to Cleveland State.”

The athletes on the lacrosse team will compete at the Division I level – the highest level of competition in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). They also will compete as an independent team, meaning they do not belong to a conference, as the Horizon League does not sponsor lacrosse, according to Sheridan.

The lacrosse program does offer athletic scholarships, though. According to Sheridan, a Division I lacrosse team -- which can have a roster size of 50 -- offer a maximum of only 12.6 scholarships.

“Not many people out there are getting full rides, not in our sport,” Sheridan said. “But certain kids [who are] great students [and] great athletes, they can earn some scholarships and help their college education be a bit more affordable.”

A scholarship will help a young student athlete to play a sport that is gaining popularity throughout the country. Lacrosse is a new sport for many people, not just for CSU, and for Sheridan, its newness is a positive thing.

“More kids are playing every single year and want to play at the college level,” he said. “But it’s also cool because there’s a level almost for everybody in college. It hasn’t gotten so extreme and so elite that a kid cannot aspire to play in college. So whether it’s Division I or club, there’s a team out there for a kid to play at the next level.”

Fans and supporters of the lacrosse program can show their support and feel a part of the team with the Extra Man Organization (EMO), a donation program.

According to Sheridan, those who donate with EMO receive season tickets to lacrosse games and “exclusive items,” while relieving some of the costs of running the new lacrosse program.

“It’s a way for [supporters] to be a part of our team,” Sheridan said. “So whether they make the minimum donation and get a season ticket and some custom merchandise out of it, or the maximum, it really doesn’t matter. It’s just the fact that they can show their support and help us alleviate some costs and just make the experience for our athletes even better.”

EMO members along with non-members who still want to show support can cheer on the lacrosse team by attending their games starting in the spring.

The first ever season for CSU men’s lacrosse will begin with a home game at Krenzler Field, where they will host the University of Michigan. The game takes place on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.


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