Suffolk Spartans near their debut

Published 5:15pm Monday, February 1, 2010

The Suffolk Lacrosse Club, now dubbed the Suffolk Spartans, has made plenty of strides in the last few months as they get ready for their inaugural lacrosse season this coming spring.

The club, formed by Gary Fisher, with a lot of help from HRLax, or Hampton Roads Lacrosse, was formed with the goal of giving kids at Lakeland, Nansemond River and King’s Fork high schools a team to play high school lacrosse with.

Some private schools around Hampton Roads have varsity lacrosse, but public schools don’t. HRLax forms a high-school age league with teams from Williamsburg to the Outer Banks.

The Spartans have a new head coach, a good field to call home and the schedule is getting set. The Spartans are still looking for more players.

“We’ve had 12-15 guys showing up for every practice since October,” said Fisher.

“They’re getting used to the game. The whole team is really showing promise and they’re very dedicated,” Fisher said.

Ten players are on the field at a time in a lacrosse match. Most high school teams have 25-30 or more players. A lacrosse match usually dictates a coach uses his reserves somewhere along the lines of an ice hockey squad with three or four shifts to, at a minimum, basketball, where a coach needs at least three or four good reserves.

“We’re looking for 20 or more guys if it’s at all possible,” Fisher said.

The Spartans have a scrimmage lined up for Feb. 20 and the season is slated to start on or shortly after Mar. 6.

Some of the players who’ve been out with the Spartans had no lacrosse experience before this, so Fisher encourages anyone to give it a try.

Anyone interested is asked to call Fisher at 374-7561 or go to suffolklaxclub.com to check out the team’s practice schedule, messages and more information

Games are scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays. Practices will be Sunday afternoons, perhaps with Thursday practices added on as the days get longer.

In some ways, the Spartans are perfectly ready for their first season.

Eric Momnie is the new head coach of the Spartans. Momnie is a 2005 alum of Keene State College where he was an outstanding player at attack. In his senior season, Momnie scored 49 goals, was an All-New England honoree in NCAA Div. III and led Keene State to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

Momnie is a fifth-grade teacher at Creekside Elementary and Fisher counts the team fortunate to have him.

“He’s a young guy, but he’s working wonders with the guys, and they listen to him because he’s got a lot of credibility behind him,” Fisher said.

The Spartans also have a good home field, Monogram Park on Sleepy Hole Road. Some HRLax teams, even ones that have been around for a few years says Fisher, still play an all-away schedule because they don’t have a home field. Suffolk is set to have five home matches and five away matches for its regular season. The playoffs are scheduled to be held in Williamsburg.

“(Suffolk) Parks and Rec has bent over backwards for us. They came out and lined the field last week and it looked great,” Fisher said.

“It’s really nice for the guys to be able to have a true home field,” Fisher said.

Hampton Roads Lacrosse is working to make the Suffolk Lacrosse Club hit the ground running as well. HRLax has had coaching clinics for the new Spartan coaches said Fisher. There will be team captain clinics coming up shortly.

“They (the team captains) will know how to handle themselves and their team on the field. There aren’t just pick-up lacrosse games. It really is first-class all the way,” Fisher said.

HRLax is helping the new club with equipment, such as goals and balls. HRLax handles scheduling and lining up the officials for matches.

Technically, the Spartans are ready to go. A few more players would help tremendously though. Fisher urges anyone thinking about it to join and register within the next week or so. New players have to have their registration completed before they can play in an HRLax match.

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