CLOVER — Lacrosse made its debut in Memorial Stadium last week.
The first-ever lacrosse game played in Blue Eagle country was a success. The game ended with the Clover High School boys’ lacrosse team storming the field in celebration of a 9-2 conquest of visiting Nation Ford.
Clover High is fielding boys’ and girls’ JV lacrosse teams in the school’s debut season of a sport.
This year’s team consists of players from seventh through 10th grades. Next year, Clover will play add the 11th grade and the first varsity team will start in two years.
Though pleased with the win, coach Matt Lindner said there is still work to be done.
Team captains Riley Crysler, Dante Redfern and Griffin Bailey were all smiles after the win over Nation Ford.
Crysler, a sophomore, played lacrosse the past eight years, including school and club lacrosse in New York before moving to Clover four years ago.
“Lacrosse is more fast-paced than soccer,” said Crysler. “It has more of an offensive flow. I love the sport.”
Redfern, a freshman who’s played club lacrosse the past year and a half, said it was exciting winning the first game.
“The team is making progress and gaining confidence,” he said.
Bailey, an eighth-grader, has played recreation and travel lacrosse the past three years.
“We’re working hard and improved a lot in the preseason,” Bailey said. “I think we have the potential to win more games this season.”
Sophomore Riv Lambert scored three goals against Nation Ford. Bailey was next with two goals, while Jackson Watkins, Nate Lalli, Wade Summer and Crysler each scored a goal.
Lindner played lacrosse at Salisbury University in Maryland. He later coached lacrosse in Maryland and at Dorman High School in Spartanburg before accepting the challenge of building a lacrosse program at CHS.
For those unfamiliar with lacrosse, Lindner compares the international sport to basketball.
“You play offense, play defense and score,” he said. “Instead of basketball’s breaks and transitions, it’s clears and rides in our sport.”
The history of lacrosse is far reaching, spanning many centuries. The game was first played by American Indians, and first documented by French missionaries in the 1600s.
A Canadian dentist, George Beers, is the father of modern lacrosse. His set of rules were adopted by the National Lacrosse Association of Canada in 1867.
From Canada, lacrosse spread to the United States, England, Ireland, Scotland and Australia. The first international lacrosse match was played in 1867 between Canada and the United States.
Olympic medals in lacrosse were awarded in 1904 and 1908. Canada won both golds. Though lacrosse was a demonstration sport in the 1928, 1932 and 1948 Olympics, it has not returned to medal sport status.
Danielle John is head coach of the Clover girls’ lacrosse team. The Lady Blue Eagles are scheduled to play at Mauldin 5:30 p.m. Monday. The boys’ next games are 5 p.m. Thursday at Fort Mill and then 5 p.m. Tuesday at Charlotte Country Day.