Cinnaminson Lacrosse is Catching On
The Cinnaminson lacrosse program, established in 2009, is more popular than ever, thanks to the hard work and dedication of some Cinnaminson parents.
In 2009, three Cinnaminson moms - Terri Caruso, Brenda McLaverty and Deb Wojcik decided to get the lacrosse ball rolling, literally, and formed Cinnaminson's Lacrosse Program, CLAX. Teams were organized for both boys and girls in grades 3 through 8. Their main goal was to introduce the sport to Cinnaminson’s young athletes and families.
Wojcik was a lacrosse player and her children played in high school and college; McLaverty’s sons were both interested in playing and convinced their mom that Cinnaminson needed a lacrosse program.
Caruso took part because of her son John's interest in lacrosse.
"He had been playing in Mount Laurel since 5th grade, because there was no team here in Cinnaminson," Caruso said. "Although he has never played for CLAX (he continued playing in Mt Laurel through 8th grade), I quickly realized there would be no chance of getting a team at the high school if we did not have a feeder program. John is now a senior in high school, and this will be the 3rd year of lacrosse at CHS.”
This feeder program has consistently grown since 2009. CLAX has seen a 50% increase in participation from 2009 to 2013. The founding ladies and board of CLAX, which has grown to 10 people since its inception, have seen the greatest growth with the boys’ seventh and eighth grade team. Last year, there were enough boys to make two teams. They expect this trend to continue as both Cinnaminson and Delran High Schools have added boys’ lacrosse to their spring sports lineup.
Cinnaminson residents may not be aware of this, but the group of parents who started CLAX are also involved with the CHS boys’ lacrosse team. The boys high school team originated just 3 years ago and is completely self-funded.
"The BOE (Cinnaminson Board of Education) has agreed to work with us over the next two years in offsetting some of the costs and eventually taking the team on completely in 2015," Caruso added.
This year, they anticipate at least 30 boys will be playing which will provide enough players for a Varsity and JV schedule.
CLAX hasn't forgotten about the little ones. Two years ago, a Scoopers Program was added for boys and girls in kindergarten through third grade. It has been extremely popular. The number of participants doubled from the first year to the second year.
CLAX also offers week long summer clinics and a Summer Tournament Team for high school girls. College coaches often recruit during summer events so this is a great way for the athletes to be seen. Laura Rickus, fifth grade teacher at Eleanor Rush Intermediate School and varsity coach for the Cinnaminson High School girls’ lacrosse team, will be coaching the team this summer.
CLAX is open to all children from Cinnaminson who have a desire to learn the game and play. It is also open to children from surrounding towns that may not have a club.
"Our philosophy has been that we want to introduce the sport to anyone interested in playing. We do not have tryouts and we do not cut anyone. If you are interested in learning and playing, we will find a spot for you," said Caruso.
Cinnaminson’s lacrosse teams have been competitive over the past four years. They have improved as a club with time. Caruso and her colleagues are appreciative for the “great mix of former high school and college players coming back to Cinnaminson to help as well as very involved parents volunteering to coach.” This year, CLAX plans to focus their energy on training coaches as they are finding that many of the parents who want to help have never played the game. “It is new to a lot of us,” she added.
The hard work and volunteerism of Caruso, Wojcik, McLaverty and many other local parents have made Cinnaminson a better place for our youth and our community. Cinnaminson caught the lacrosse fever and the ball continues to roll.
Check out the CLAX website for information on the club, fundraising events, and game schedules. For more information regarding the sport of lacrosse, visit US Lacrosse and/or South Jersey Youth Lacrosse (SJYLAX).