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First box lacrosse league a big hit

Indoor facility provides young players action in the offseason

Arena style indoor youth lacrosse at The Dalles Fitness and Court Club’s recently completed turf field.

Arena style indoor youth lacrosse at The Dalles Fitness and Court Club’s recently completed turf field.

When The Dalles Fitness and Court Club announced the opening of its new indoor sports field, Hood River youth lacrosse coach Cory Roeseler reserved a Monday night time slot in the hopes of recruiting enough area middle school boys to have once-a-week games to keep at least a small group of players sharp during the off-season.

Youth lacross deadline Feb. 16

Hood River youth lacrosse dives quickly into its spring season, which starts in March. Registration for youth boys and girls in elementary and middle school is run through Hood River Community Education and should be done as soon as possible (deadline is Feb. 16). For more information on Hood River lacrosse programs or for links to registration visit www.hoodriverlacr....

“When I proposed using the new facility for indoor lacrosse, I feared a lack of interest would mean insufficient numbers even for pick-up games,” Roeseler commented this week after the conclusion of what turned out to be a highly successful two-month season. “I couldn’t have been more wrong. The first night drew enough players for four teams, plus subs. A legitimate indoor league emerged.”

Word spread quickly about the new turf, which TDFCC built by converting one of its three indoor tennis courts into the arena-style field. Before long, time slots before and after the middle school group were filled; the earlier one by fourth- and fifth-graders and the later by high school players.

“Monday nights in January were packed full of lacrosse games,” Roeseler said. “For the middle school league, I appointed four eighth-grade team coaches and captains to lead their teams through a seven-week season and a championship night.”

With the top teams from the season going head-to-head to see which would be the first league champions, the final battle royal came down to a civil war re-enactment between the Beavers and the Ducks. Led by team captain Elliott Cramer, who had 10 goals and three assists in the final game, the Beavers were the victors in the exciting 18-15 matchup.

“The game drew enthusiastic support from parents throughout the heated battle,” Roeseler noted. “I don’t think we’ll have any problem with numbers next year. When spring comes around it’s pretty easy to see who has been playing in the off-season. The kids who at least pass and catch in the off season always show up in better shape than those who don’t.”

For those who played indoor, the hope, Roeseler says, is that off-season improvement will be even more obvious.

“One thing in particular is stick protection you have to learn with indoor,” he explained. “When you’re playing in the field, speed is favored; but with indoor there’s nowhere to run so you have to sharpen your stick protection skills pretty quickly. Our hope is that the kids who played indoor will bring those new skills to the field and be that much better.”

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