Lacrosse planting roots in Greer

Published on Tuesday, June 26, 2012

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Tomahawk Lacrosse lacrosse manager Anthony Quiles said the sport  is finding its way into elementary and middle schools and developing feeder programs for high schools.

Courtesy Tomahawk Lacrosse

Tomahawk Lacrosse lacrosse manager Anthony Quiles said the sport  is finding its way into elementary and middle schools and developing feeder programs for high schools.



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Size and age isn't a factor playing lacrosse. More youths are participating in lacrosse in summer programs like camps and touring teams.

Courtesy Tomahawk Lacrosse

Size and age isn't a factor playing lacrosse. More youths are participating in lacrosse in summer programs like camps and touring teams.



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Former players are paying it forward by teaching younger players in the basic skills of the sport.

Courtesy Tomahawk Lacrosse

Former players are paying it forward by teaching younger players in the basic skills of the sport.



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Lacrosse is a demanding sport requiring physical endurance and growing pains learning the sport. 

Courtesy Tomahawk Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a demanding sport requiring physical endurance and growing pains learning the sport. 



Lacrosse is taking Greer by storm.

“Every day we hear of a new team coming up and see more and more lacrosse goals in backyards,” said Anthony Quiles, native of Long Island, N.Y., and manager of the Tomahawk Lacrosse.

Quiles attributed the sport’s growth in its ability to attract a wide range of athletes and the ease with which they are able to pick up the game. “We see it all the time when that one kid that didn’t make the soccer team or got cut from football, or never played a sport at all, becomes a great lacrosse player,” Quiles said.

Tomahawk Lacrosse is also taking the game into elementary and middle schools – a step, Quiles said, that has been received well by young athletes.

Molly Miller, head coach of Excell Lacrosse, has been with the summer camp program since the summer of 2006 and has seen the enrollment grow from 15 girls to just over 150 players. “We are several years behind some other states in terms of skill level, but we are catching up quickly,” said Miller.

According to US Lacrosse, it’s the fastest growing sport in America. The game is spreading throughout the country from hotbed centers such as New York and Maryland, where lacrosse is regarded as a culture in many households, similar to sentiments towards football in the south.

The sport, both men and women’s, consists of a small, dense ball, being thrown and caught with lacrosse sticks. It involves the cross field running of soccer and the agility of football along with many other aspects from sports such as hockey and basketball.

Richard Thomas, President of the South Carolina chapter of US Lacrosse, has seen the sport evolve in South Carolina through a decade. “I have seen lacrosse grow from one boys and one girls team in 1999 to over 65 teams, and I think we will definitely exceed 70 total teams next season,” said Thomas.

The future of lacrosse in greater Greer looks positive with a rising number of high school and club teams. Riverside and Eastside high schools have competitive teams. Byrnes is adding the sport for boys and girls in the 2012-2013 school year.

Cheyenne Consolo, a 2012 graduate of Riverside High School, is a testament to the growth and the adaptability of lacrosse. “I picked up lacrosse because I wanted to do something new and ended up on the Riverside team,” said. Consolo. “Now the game is growing and maturing, girls are starting at younger ages and everyone is starting to better understand the game and the meaning behind it.”

Consolo is an example of the benefits enjoyed by other athletes. She was recruited by Tennessee Wesleyan College and has signed to play in the upcoming school year.

“I think South Carolina lacrosse is about to go big time, and it will earn its rightful place as a powerhouse state,” Thomas said. 

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