Two Saugerties coaches are hoping to make lacrosse popular again in Saugerties.
At one time, according to coach Bob Slate, there were a number of youth lacrosse teams for boys and girls in Saugerties. The program held successful tournaments and served as a valuable feeder program for the high school boys’ and girls’ teams.
“We had such a successful program at one time,” Slate says wistfully. “There were teams for both boys and girls for fifth and sixth graders, and teams for seventh and eighth graders.”
And those numbers translated into good turnouts for the high school teams, which became successful in the Mid-Hudson Athletic League and on the regional level as well.
But over time, interest waned among the parents who were needed to run the programs, then the kids lost interest, too, and the program just “died.”
The result: smaller, less experienced high school teams. Each year, coaches complain about the lack of numbers.
But Slate and Tony Salinas hope to change that.
This fall, Slate on the boys’ side and Salinas on the girls’ have begun to hold practices for any boy or girl in third to sixth grades who would like to come out and learn the sport.
The coaches provide all the equipment, thanks to donations of equipment from U.S. Lacrosse.
With the weather turning colder and snow not far off, the Saturday practices are drawing to a close. The coaches have asked district officials for permission to use some of the elementary schools for practice during the winter months. If granted, the coaches will be sending out flyers to students and parents asking for participants. Information about the teams and how to get involved can be found on Facebook by searching “Saugerties Youth Lacrosse.”