A new lacrosse team is in the works for McPherson residents, thanks to Virgil Lyon, who has loved and played the sport since he was 9 years old.
"I've been playing this sport for 35 years now and I have kids who love to play it too. My son is 13 years old and he'd like to keep playing so I just want to give kids a chance to play or try the sport and have the same opportunities that I did growing up," Lyon said.
The team is geared toward sixth through eighth grade students around McPherson County.
Lyon noted that he wants his team to focus on building teamwork and love of the game.
"It'll be everything you hope your kid can experience in youth sports. We'll be working on teamwork and the factor of the matter that you can't just get the trophy — you have to achieve it through hard work, practice and discipline. Above all, you want them to love the game," he said.
The team is still in the works but Lyon hopes to choose colors and names that the town celebrates.
Lyon and others are currently working on getting grants for the team to make it more affordable to join.
"I don't want cost to be a factor," he said.
The sport can become expensive with the cost of gear involved, but Lyon said that can be avoided.
"The game doesn't have to be expensive. You can either by a $300 helmet every year if you can afford it that's great. But you can also buy a $70 helmet that does the same thing and is just as good," he said.
If children are wishing to play the game, Lyon said this is the gear you will need: shoulder pads that are similar to hockey pads, elbow or arm guards, a glove, a stick and a mouth guard.
While there may be 10 to 15 players at a time on the field, Lyon said that he will take however many players that want to play.
"We'll find a way to make it work," he said.
For parents and children who may not understand the sport, Lyon described it similar to hockey.
"You dance the ball up and down the field and it's a sport like most where the objective is to score a goal," Lyon said.
However, the game of lacrosse can get a little physical on the field.
"There's a lot of banging into each other but not like big hits like you'd see in football," he noted.
While Lyon is currently focusing on a boys team, he is also in the works of looking into a girls team for the future.
"We want to be able to offer something for everyone. I have a five month old daughter right now and she already has a stick, so there will eventually be a girls team," he laughed.
Lyon said he hopes to have the team established by mid to late April of 2019 and to give kids around McPherson the chance to experience the game.
"My hope is that I want kids to experience what lacrosse has done for me and my family. It paid for a majority of my college and it's been nothing but positive so I'm hopeful we can share that with other people and some of the same opportunities that we’ve enjoyed. We also want to try to get kids out here in the fall this year to do some practices and see who's interested and above all to make sure we are better today than we were yesterday," he said.
For more information on the team, go to their Facebook page McPherson Boy's Lacrosse or email Lyon at email@example.com
Contact Brooke Haas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.