BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Lockport City Schools is looking at adding a modified lacrosse program.
Last week, Board of Education members heard a proposal for two modified teams that would consist of boys and girls in seventh- and eighth-grade. The teams would play next spring in the 2013-14 school year.
Scott Reddinger, varsity head coach and Todd Sukdolak, assistant principal at Lockport High School spoke to the board at a meeting last week. Adding a modified program would help the entire program, which competes at the highest level in Section VI, Reddinger said. That includes Orchard Park and Clarence, which are state ranked teams.
“And those schools have modified programs,” he said.
Junior varsity and varsity lacrosse is usually for high school students, but in the past Lockport has had younger kids participating at those levels. While it was nice to see kids willing to play at a higher level, it may not be the best thing for them, Reddinger said.
Intramural lacrosse is offered to students in fifth- and sixth-grade at Emmet Belknap, said Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley. But there isn’t anything for those at North Park, the school for seventh- and eighth-graders.
Lockport started its lacrosse program in 2006. Now, popularity in the sport has grown so much, it has become a year-round sport, Reddinger said. More than 30 kids alone played on the JV team last year.
Adding and starting up the two teams would have an initial cost of about $20,000, but the lacrosse program and supporters would cover the entire cost for the first year.
Starting in year two, the cost of running the teams would be a combined $7,600 annually. The district would pick up the cost of the teams in the second year, 2014-15, but Reddinger said the lacrosse program would try to fundraise to help cover the costs.
Lacrosse supporters will come back before the board sometime in the fall, to make sure equipment costs are covered for the first year. An official motion wasn’t needed, but last week each member voiced their opinion, 7-1 in support of adding the modified teams. Trustee Diane Phelps was the lone no, while Trustee Thomas Fiegl was not present.Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.