IN THE COMMUNITY
/_! -' CINCINNATI LACROSSE CLUB/MOUNT ADAMS RAMS j,
Can't beat it with a stick 'Fastest-growing game in U.S.' is experiencing a boom locally as well s a sophomore in high school in 1988, Dan Fisher played on the inaugural Moeller lacrosse team, one of the first high school teams in the area for the sport He went on to play at Ohio State and then moved after college. When he returned four years ago, the lacrosse scene was fur from the way he left it, he said. "It's pretty unbelievable, the growth fve seen," Fisher said. On April25, Sports illustrated ran a ninepage spread on the growth and changes in lacrosse, calling it the "fastest-growing game in the U.S. at every level." This weekend and next, as the lacrosse season winds down, the area will see some of the products of that growth at different levels. Fisher is now 33 and the president of the Cincinnati lacrosse Club, a post-<:ollegiate team that has been around since the 1970s. At 1 p.m. today at Summit Country Day, Cincinnati will play the other area men's post-collegiate team, the Budweiser Mount Adams Rams, in a crosstown showdown. The game, which is in its ninth year, pits veteran Cincinnati against Mount Adams, which was established about 10 years ago. They expect the usual large turnout of players, and some of their friends and family also to attend. "People seem to come out of the woodwork for this game," Fisher said. Tom McDonald, a member of Mount Adams, said welkstablished Cincinnati usually has the edge in the game, but the Rams are iJn. proving. They have players on their roster who went to Dayton, Toledo, Cincinnati, Miami and Wright State. McDonald, who came from Rochester, NY., six years ago, also thinks the lacrosse scene has blossomed here. "Where I grew up-we lived in New York City- to get to a club, you only had to go to the next stop on the interstate," McDonald said. "Around here, it was not quite as easy, but it's getting easier." Fisher said many of his about 30 teammates are former area high school and college players, and most are either coaches or referees in the area, too. Cincinnati won the lf).team Midwest Cities lacrosse Conference championship last season and hopes to contend for the title again ]w1e 12-13 in Chicago. "We're starting to see guys from different
The Mount Adams Rams, a team for players out of college, started up about 10 years ago.
progran1s and different schools come back," Fisher said. 'The level of play keeps rising." The surge in area youth players also will be seen next Saturday and Sunday when Mount St Joseph holds the Ohio state aJl.star lacrosse games. The event, hosted by the Greater Cincinnati lacrosse Association, will feature high school and middle school teams. About 20 area boys' teams play in the Ohio High School lacrosse Association, according to its Web site. That number is sinlilar in the Ohio Schoolgirls lacrosse Association, in which Sycamore made the Division I state final four this weekend and Mason made the Division II final. On the boys' side, Sycamore made it to the Division 1-B South final of the state tournament Cincinnati Country Day played in the Division II final Saturday, and Anderson won the Division ill final May 28. . In addition, more than 10 area schools fielded teams in the Ohio Middle School Boys' Lacrosse Championships May 14-15. The Cincinnati Blue Jays, made up of sixth, seventh and eighth graders on the east side, went 3-1 to make it to the final of the Division II tournament Middletown won the Division ill section. Provided photo "When I came here, there was just Moeller, Tom McDonald, who grew up playing laSyc.amore and maybe one other school, â€˘ crosse in New York, says the sport is McDonald said. "Now, every school has got catching on well here. something in the works."