A grant from US Lacrosse, the national governing body for lacrosse, will help a fledgling Gloucester High School club team take the field next spring. The assistance to the local team is coming through the national organization’s First Stick Program.
Team coach David Guglielmo successfully applied to be part of the program, which will provide coach training and equipment for 24 players this year. Guglielmo estimated the equipment to be worth $6,500. If certain conditions are met, the grant will supply equipment for 12 more players next year, worth about another $3,000.
A former high school lacrosse player who also played for Virginia Tech, Guglielmo said he pursued forming a GHS club team when his son Andrew and one of his buddies expressed an interest in the sport. "He first asked me about it in May of last year, and I told him to bring me a list of other interested students," the coach recalled. "Within a week, he had a list of 12 or 15 kids."
Since then, Guglielmo has researched what he needed to do to get a club team formally organized and on the field. He has established Gloucester LAX, an organization that will soon have non-profit status and will support the club team. Lacrosse is not a Virginia High School League sport, so financial support must come from outside of the school system.
Randy Applegate has volunteered to be the team’s GHS faculty sponsor, which is required for the club to be affiliated with the school. Over 25 GHS students are now attending practices.
Guglielmo said his team has the backing of Gloucester Parks and Recreation, which is providing field space, as well as Park Partners Inc. and the Touchdown Club. He will also get support from HR LAX, the local chapter of the national organization. The Gloucester team will play in Division II of the HR LAX league, with the first games scheduled for March 2014.