Olivia Grant – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS is ready for its inaugural year of both girls’ and boys’ varsity lacrosse.  Both boys and girls teams play their first game Tuesday.

Many people may not realize the difficulties of starting a team from the ground up.

Building a brand new team is not only time consuming and expensive, but also requires a group of dedicated people willing to face challenges.  However, it requires significantly more than just willing players and a coach.

Before goals and jerseys can be bought, the sport first must be proposed and approved by the Manatee County School Board. It must be presented with sufficient support and interest within the schools.

After being granted a team, the fundraising begins. LRHS lacrosse coaches Sammy Stoltz and Jason Morales, as well as other members of the community hoping to see lacrosse flourish, were instrumental in organizing and running fundraising opportunities.

Stoltz said, “Once we knew we had a foundation we began fundraising and getting the funds to pay for a team from scratch, which people don’t realize just how expensive that is and how much money goes into this.”

The team needed to raise close to $50,000, which they worked towards by hosting multiple car washes around Lakewood Ranch, as well as at the local grocery stores.

Now that practices have begun, it doesn’t mean the work has stopped behind the scenes. There are plans to fundraise further as the team nears their first official games.

“We’re all just hoping that this team that we’ve built sets the precedent of what to expect from Lakewood ranch lacrosse. We hope they leave that legacy of hard workers that started from ground zero building up into something whether it’s a winning season or not,” Stoltz said.

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