Bullpup lacrosse is alive and growing

William Snesrud
Special to the Sentinel
Lacrosse players in McPherson are on the ground floor of a growing program.

From humble beginnings as a club group in 2020, today the McPherson Lacrosse Club sports a girls under-10 program, a McPherson Middle School boys team, and a high school team.

The success has even reached a point where McPherson will host the first-ever lacrosse league post-season event on May 2.

The architect of the lacrosse craze, Virgil Lyon, noted one of the three programs had its first opportunity to compete this spring.

“The under-10 girls program had their first-ever taste of competition at a tournament the first weekend of March. While they are not old enough to play for championships and trophies just yet, they all had a great time,” Lyon said. 

Lyon pointed out that the under-10 girls team played in five-on-five lacrosse set up for their age groups and each team competing had seven girls on the team.

The McPherson Middle School boys are competing in their first season, and according to Lyon, they are 3-2 so far but were unbeaten until this past week.

Some of the opponents the Middle School Pups are playing include the Lawrence Lacrosse Club, Brookside Lacrosse Club and the Wichita Spartans.

“We have played both the Lawrence team and the Spartans twice each,” Lyon said. “The team currently has 13 boys on the roster right now and they play seven-on-seven Lacrosse.”

One of the bright spots according to Lyon is the McPherson High School team which has a roster of 11 players.

“They may be just 0-4 right now,” explained Lyon, “but they are constantly improving.”

The Bullpups are now part of a Central Kansas high school league that includes Lawrence, Andover, McPherson, and Wichita that is called the Great Plains Lacrosse League. Each team will play the other teams twice with the big event being the first-ever Lacrosse League post-season which will be held here in McPherson on May 2.

At this point in time, there is no sanctioning of the program at the state level, and according to Lyon, the local high school does not seem to want anything to do with the program.

“We have approached the activities director about forming as a school club team which is a common practice for teams in areas where lacrosse remains unsanctioned," Lyon said.

"We were then told to do what youth sports do, such as MYFA does in the area and to try and operate through the McPherson Rec Commission. But after some discussion, we were offered the opportunity to rent the field at the high school, though the players and parents prefer not to practice or play games at the high school so we currently practice in Oak Grove Park and play our home games at a field at the Grant Sports Complex.”

Last fall, an all-star team was put together using players from the area or in the Great Plains Lacrosse League and they went to Kansas City to compete in the Kansas City Heartland Fall Lacrosse Classic. The group of all-stars went 3-1 with the only loss being in overtime to the eventual tournament champions.

Lyon notes that Lacrosse is coming into its own in the area and will continue to grow. He encourages kids and families to take in a practice or game while emphasizing that they are always open to new players.

Any athlete and parents that may be interested are encouraged to join them at a practice which are held on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Those interested can also either email the program at macfcalax@gamil.com or contact Virgil Lyon at 620-798-7253.