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Youth lacrosse growing in BG (04-09-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 08:52
Trevor Doren attempts a shot against the goalie as his teammates watch during the Bowling Green WarCats lacrosse practice Sunday. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
Youth lacrosse is catching on in Bowling Green.
After starting three years ago, the Bowling Green Lacrosse Club and BG WarCats boast a membership of 31. The club started out with just four members.
Denny Doren and Jim Gavarone had a vision for starting lacrosse in BG not only for their sons, but for all BG youth. Former BGSU lacrosse coach Mickey Cochrane also lent his experience to the club's formation and shared his plays, pattens and coaching philosophies.
"We have created a very strong community of lacrosse.  Over the last year, we founded the Northwest Ohio Lacrosse Association along with Perrysburg and Anthony Wayne and had 10 teams compete last year," Doren said.
And for the first time this spring, BG  will have a team entered in the Ohio Middle School Lacrosse Association.
The WarCats have two teams: one for fifth-and sixth-graders and the other for seventh- and eighth-graders.
Since beginning the program, the teams have been highly successful and tallied a 45-6 record, including a 35-2 record over the last year.
"The reason we are successful is the boys/players. They are the foundational element of the machine," Doren said.
"In start up mode, being the first team in a new sport, you have to have the right mix of players to be successful and build momentum for the future.  We have good kids, great confidence, but not big egos," he said.
Starting up a program from scratch hasn't been easy, Doren admitted.
Generating interest has been a challenge.
"Parents fear the game because it is perceived as new and unknown. Most parents grew up playing basketball, baseball, or football, almost no one grew up playing lacrosse," he said.
There have also been logistical issues in finding a place to practice and play.
"Every other community has a nice location for them to grow, except us. We are nomads.
"We would just load up a couple of nets in the back of my truck, head out and try to find a spot to go and play," Doren said of team practices.
The WarCats also lack a place to call their "home field."
"Being able to play a sport at home is something everyone else takes for granted. We have never had that opportunity," Doren said.
However, the WarCats will play their first home game at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday against Sylvania. The contest will take place beside Perry Stadium on the practice field at BGSU. The WarCats will also play at the same location at 6:30 p.m. on April 25 against Anthony Wayne and at 1 p.m. May 11 against Ottawa Hills.
While there were challenges, much help has been had along the way.
"I can't tell you how much we appreciate the support of the BGSU (club lacrosse) players, Perrysburg Youth Lacrosse and BG Parks and Recreation.  We were very fortunate the first year to have BGSU players help us coach and teach us. We didn't even know how to string a stick," Doren said.
WarCats players will have the opportunity to play at the next level. Dan DeWitt started a club lacrosse team at Bowling Green High School in 2011.
The founders hope to grow the WarCats' program through more teams and age divisions.
"We need more help. We have great momentum, but need parents to help us grow the sport in BG. Despite one talented age group, we are light years behind the growth of Sylvania, Anthony Wayne and Perrysburg.
"The nation is embracing 'Lax' at a rapid rate. It is all over ESPN, but we have been slow to adjust in BG," Doren said.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 11:21

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