MIDDLEBURY — What began as an athletic curiosity has turned into a full-fledged club.
More than a year ago, then-middle schooler Alex Eash showed an interest in lacrosse. That led to his father, Gregg Eash, finding him a place with a Mishawaka-based club, the Michiana Falcons.
Last fall, the seeds were planted for what has become Middlebury Lacrosse. A introductory clinic was held and many players took part in an indoor 7-on-7 league at the Elkhart Sports Center (outdoor lacrosse is generally 10-on-10).
Middlebury Lacrosse can also be found on Facebook.
Gregg Eash began educating himself about the sport with books and YouTube videos.
“I had heard about the game but had never seen it,” said the elder Eash, who serves as the new club’s high school coach.
This spring, Middlebury Lacrosse will field a boys high school team and a boys middle school squad coached by Bart Hoag and David Williams. Ideally, both rosters of Raiders will have around 23 and more players are needed.
“If they are not playing a spring sport, maybe they want to try something new,” said coach Eash.
Per Indiana High School Lacrosse Association rules, players must live in the Middlebury Community Schools district.
The high school group has about 14 games against IHSLA opponents, mostly on the junior varsity level. The season opener is scheduled for March 23 with two games at Bloomington South.
This winter, the club is practicing at Elkhart Sports Center. Current plans call for home matches and practices to be held behind Middlebury Elementary School and, perhaps, at the Middlebury Magic soccer fields.
Currently seeking 501 (c) 3 nonprofit status, Middlebury Lacrosse welcomes donations from businesses and individuals. The IHSLA provided two game goals, but other equipment, including balls, helmets, uniforms and practice pinnies are the responsibility of the club and fundraisers have been held to defray costs and allow so all interested players will be able to participate.
Also in the works is the formation of the Northern Indiana Lacrosse Association, a group which will focus on grades 3-8. The organization will likely include Middlebury, Penn, LaPorte, South Bend Catholic schools and South Bend public schools.
At this time, Middlebury Lacrosse is focusing on grades 6-8. NILA has partnered with Notre Dame to help grow the game at the younger levels.
For more information or to donate, contact Gregg Eash at firstname.lastname@example.org.