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Recognition of lacrosse pending in District U-46

By Seth Hancock
  Lacrosse could become a recognized sport by School District U-46 if the Board of Education approves a proposal at its upcoming meeting on Monday, Dec. 4. The proposal was presented on Nov. 20.
  Jason Ward, athletics director at South Elgin High School, sent a letter to the district stating the Upstate Eight Conference “has approved” boys lacrosse teams for both South Elgin and Bartlett as well as a U-46 co-op girls team. Both boys teams will also be co-op as an eastside and westside team allowing boys at the three other U-46 high schools to compete.
  A memo from Terri Lozier, assistant superintendent, stated what U-46 will take care of and what the teams will have to take care of.
  “Even if a portion of the sport is self-funded, Lacrosse teams will have to follow the same policies and protocols to which other IHSA events in SD U-46 are held,” the memo stated.
  The district’s human resources department will post coaching positions and athletics’ directors will do the hiring, and the teacher’s union contract will set the salary. Union members are given hiring priority regardless of the “lacrosse experience” of a non member.
  There will be varsity and JV teams for each program under the proposal, and U-46 will provide transportation for competitions. Athletes will have to provide their own transportation for practice, and practice fields will be located at Eastview and Kenyon Woods middle schools, and competitions will be held at Millennium Field at Streamwood High School.
  Athletics’ directors will arrange competitions and the district will prepare practice and competitive fields.
  Athletes will have to pay the same $200 athletics fee as other sports, and the district estimates an additional $10,000 to $15,000 a year for athletic trainers fees which it will pay for out of its secondary budget.
  Lacrosse teams will likely have to charge additional fees and will have to pay for officials.
  At the Nov. 20 meeting, Lozier said the teams will “probably have to charge an additional $300 to $400” to athletes to pay for equipment and uniforms.
  Lozier said “there’s been a lot of interest” in lacrosse and both Bartlett and South Elgin have “very robust teams” already, which included South Elgin winning a state title last year. Board member Jeanette Ward echoed that saying the board’s received a lot of emails concerning lacrosse.
  Board member Sue Kerr asked if the teams will be able to play this spring, to which Lozier said they would, and Ward asked if the teams can and are currently doing their own fundraising and Lozier said: “I believe they are” currently fundraising “because they fund everything fully right now by themselves, and it’s about $1,000 per” athlete.
  Board member Phil Costello asked if equipment is primarily purchased by the athletes to which Lozier said “for the most part” noting that lacrosse sticks are like baseball players who bring their own bats.



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