The fastest growing high school sport in the country has found a home in the Mining City.
Brent Van Beek, who brought Lacrosse to Butte, will spearhead the program as it begins its season in March.
A registration meeting will be held at the Butte Public Library from 6 to 8 p.m, Thursday, for those interested in playing this season.
There will be boys and girls teams representing Butte High school, as well as under-15 and under-13 age groups.
The high school teams will go by the Butte Bulldogs moniker while the younger teams will be called the Butte Pit Vipers.
“Lacrosse will be sanctioned in Montana eventually so it will make that transition easier to call the high school teams the Bulldogs,” Van Beek said. “The younger teams will be named the Pit Vipers for the Berkeley Pit.”
Practice and game facilities have yet to be determined as Van Beek is still in talks with the Parks and Recreation Department.
There are boys’ high school lacrosse teams in all Class AA markets — Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula — as well as Polson and Whitefish. Missoula Hellgate is the defending state champion.
“I’ve seen it grow in every single community in Montana and it’s definitely the fastest-growing sport in America right now,” Van Beek said. “Seeing how popular it was in Helena, I just felt it was time to bring something new to Butte.
“So far I have gotten a very good response in terms of interest. I guess we’ll just open the doors and see who shows up.”
The Butte Bulldog boys’ team has 12 games scheduled with five set for the Mining City, three of them on Thursday nights.
Van Beek said the teams will begin practice during the last two weeks of February with conditioning and stick skills dependent on the weather.
The teams’ opener is scheduled for March 29 in Bozeman.
There are only five girls teams in the state and they will meet at jamborees throughout the season.
Van Beek said the program is still looking for coaches, and no experience is necessary. All of the coaches are certified through U.S. Lacrosse and insurance is provided for all
See LACROSSE, Page 3B
Historically the sport, which has quickly grown in the West and is a fixture on the East Coast, attracts mostly football and hockey players on the boys’ side, and soccer and field hockey athletes on the girls’ side.
“It’s a fast sport, it’s an exciting sport and a very physical sport,” Van Beek said. “There is a finesse and a beauty in the movement of the ball. For the spectators of the sport it’s fun to watch because there is constant movement. It’s one of those games where you can have finesse or physical players.”
For more information contact Van Beek at 406-565-6484 or friend Butte Lacrosse on Facebook.