Before I left the Scranton area for Towson University in 2002, there was arguably no sport more foreign to me than lacrosse. At the time, I was probably more familiar with curling; but it didn’t take long to figure out that lacrosse had a huge following in most places that weren’t Scranton, Pa.
Here in the Harrisburg area, two longtime friends, both lacrosse players and coaches, are trying to grow a local presence of the sport and attract an adult interest in lacrosse. Bob Miller and Matt Healey have been playing lacrosse since the mid-90s — when finding an opponent often times meant taking bus trips to Maryland or playing club teams not in their age range.
Fast-forward to 2013 and most large schools in the area have varsity, JV, middle school and youth lacrosse programs. And for those of us far removed from our varsity years, Harrisburg Lacrosse — run by Miller and Healey — offers former athletes a chance to continue playing lacrosse or to even try it for the first time.
“Because when most people play lacrosse, they fall in love with it,” Miller said.
“Our goal is to help continue this growth for both adults and youth,” Miller said. “Young people graduating from college have really only had one local option to keep playing, and that has been our summer league which is eight weeks in June-July.”
Recently, Harrisburg Lacrosse expanded to include indoor, or box lacrosse, which is a faster paced five-on-five version of the game, similar to hockey. The box league started Jan. 3, and Miller said they hope to grow and expand the league.
In addition to adult lacrosse, Harrisburg Lacrosse also brings camps, clinics and leagues to the area for youth players who wish to continue to play year-round.
“Young players today want to run around, be physical and play in a fast-paced game,” Miller said. “Lacrosse, the fastest game on two feet, provides them with this opportunity.”
And Harrisburg Lacrosse is the best place for youth and adult players alike to find those opportunities in the greater Harrisburg area.