Monday night the Fort Mill School Board approved Lacrosse as a varsity sport for 2010.
The following events took place prior to the school board vote this week:
In October, 2008, The South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) sanctioned the sport of lacrosse in South Carolina High Schools. After careful consideration and financial exploration, Fort Mill High School, its principal Dee Christopher and Athletic Director Bailey Jackson, proposed to “take on” lacrosse as a girls and boys varsity and junior varsity spring sport in 2010. The Fort Mill Lacrosse Club donated nearly $9,000 to start lacrosse in the high school, and, when added to the almost $4,000 already put aside from 2009 gate recipients, the high school holds nearly $13,000 to launch lacrosse, well in excess of the $10,000 estimated startup cost. Additional revenue will be generated from 2010 gate receipts, corporate sponsorships, corporate matching gifts and transportation fees. With 25 players per team, lacrosse will provide the opportunity for at least 100 student-athletes to play a spring sport – in the first year alone.
Tom Salerno, President of the Fort Mill Lacrosse Club said;
I am thrilled that the school board approved lacrosse as a varsity sport this year. We had a tremendous turnout of support at the meeting. We literally packed the room with parents and players.
Understand that this approval is for one year only to be revisited following the spring season. The school district has severe budget constraints as we all know and this was only approved because we are self-funded. We will be in the mode of funding our sport for some time to come. But for this season, we can celebrate. It was obvious to the school board that this was the right thing to do and your support made the difference. We are looking forward to a fantastic inaugural varsity season!
More history of Lacrosse and the Fort Mill Lacrosse Club
- Not only is lacrosse the fastest-growing sport in the nation, this decision also reflects the growing interest in lacrosse in the State – which now has close to 30 boys and 25 girls High School teams, and continues to add new teams.
- In Fort Mill, lacrosse is in its fourth season at the club level, involving at least 125 players at the middle school and high school levels, and a growing number of younger players. Lacrosse has been established in Fort Mill – we have dedicated coaches, strong, supportive parents – and many experienced players.
- The Fort Mill Lacrosse Club is an independent 501(c)(3) organization who will continue to govern lacrosse for younger players through the Middle School level. The Fort Mill Lacrosse Club has relinquished all authority and governance for high school lacrosse to Fort Mill High School.
- Nationwide, lacrosse is the third-largest revenue generating sport in a high school, after football and basketball. Gate receipts will generate an estimated average of $200 (girls) and $300 (boys) per home Lacrosse game.
- There are several of the larger high schools in the Greenville area where Lacrosse is 2nd in gate receipts, and also in Columbia, such as at White Knoll.
- Most players will have played club lacrosse with FMLC and players will be expected to provide their own sticks, goggles/helmets, shoulder pads (boys) and cleats. Therefore, the largest first-year expense will be the provision of home (Year 1) and away (Year 2) uniforms. However, once these are purchased, they will be re-used by the school. Equipment runs about $300 for boys and $100 for girls. However, we expect to receive donations from the lacrosse equipment manufacturers to help establish our inventory
- In its third year, FMLC has experienced strong financial support from corporate donors and parents. Donors, sponsors, players and parents would demonstrate strong support of high school lacrosse through the booster club and fundraising activities. Already, lacrosse parents have joined the Booster club at FMHS, increasing its membership, and several parents have worked at football games in order to generate volunteer matching contributions from their employers.
- Like all athletes, lacrosse players will pay the $75 transportation fee. Most of our athletes do not play another high school sport, so this fee represents a significant amount of new revenue.
- As the fastest growing sport in the nation, numerous scholarships are offered for college play. In fact, just last year one of our boys’ varsity players from Nation Ford received a scholarship to play lacrosse at Queens University in Charlotte. College coaches continue to show interest in our current players as well.
- Lacrosse provides an additional option for our students to participate in a team sport which is different than many of the more individual sports. The team sports teach the lessons of respect, trust, cooperation and shared goals. It builds strong bonds that our kids maintain for years.
Link to the www.fmlacrosse.com