The Bryant Lacrosse program, entering its second season as a club sport with designs on full Arkansas Activity Association approval, begins this Saturday with a girls scrimmage at Little Rock Episcopal. The season begins in earnest Feb. 15-16 at Burns Park in North Little Rock. Both the Bryant junior varsity boys team and the girls varsity team will be competing in the LaxFest Tournament.
The program includes players in grades 8 through 12.
“Communities represented by some of the largest school districts in the state are fielding new teams this year,” said boys coach Alex Wilkerson. “As the sport of lacrosse continues to grow within the state of Arkansas, and as more opportunities for athletes to aspire to playing college athletics on scholarship are being made available, it is only a matter of time before the AAA takes notice and adopts this sport for both the girls and the boys as a spring school-sponsored activity.”
Bryant’s boys team includes seniors Donte Baker, Jordan Cook and Taylor Daniels; juniors Bryce Duncan, Acic Chavez, Justin Black, Dylon Ruby, Nicolas Nguyen-Sovan, Remulus Herrien Jr., Jacob Atherley, Jimmy Cerutti and Bryson Glenn; sophomores Jackson Rudnick, Ethan Stump and Austin Williams; as well as eighth grader Michael Parker.
The girls are seniors Daniella Lopez, Kenedy Kuchinski and Mika Johnson; juniors Anna Barnes, Kamryn Ray and Lucie Van Roekel; sophomores Haylee Champan-Hopkins and Haylie Danaher; freshmen Angelina Cooke, Anna Morgan, Anna Rogers, Destiny Galindo, Gina Wall, Jecenia Garza, Jenna Wall, Lidia Ramos, Mackinley Phillips, Madisynn Daily and Tylee Fullerton. The team is coached by L.K. Waters.
“Both programs are poised to have strong seasons this year in the first official season of the Natural State Lacrosse League,” Wilkerson said. “As of right now, there are nine teams in the league. Along with Bryant, teams from Mount St. Mary/Little Rock Catholic, Little Rock Episcopal, Pulaski Academy, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale, and Byrd (girls only).”
Home contests are played at the Alcoa 40 Park on Shobe Road.
For those unfamiliar with lacrosse, Wilkerson said, “It’s fast-paced, physical and exciting. It combines elements from every other sport I grew up playing – the offenses, defenses, and transition game are like basketball, the way you throw is similar to a baseball throw, you can hit people like in football, you have to be able to run like in soccer, and you can go behind the net like you can in hockey. Because of all that, it has been the fastest growing high school sport in the country over the last 10 years according to the NFHS (National Federation of High Schools).
“It also has the highest ratio of high school athletes going on to play at the NCAA level, so there is quite a bit of opportunity there,” he continued. “Jordan Cook, one of our senior boys who just started playing last year, recently committed to play at Fontebonne University in St. Louis (NCAA Div. III) next year. That speaks to the amount of opportunity out there for kids who want to put in the work. I’m sure we’ll have several more in our next class of seniors too.”
Here’s the 2020 schedule:
Feb. 8 — at Little Rock Episcopal (scrimmage)
Feb. 15-16 — at LaxFest Tournament, Burns Park, North Little Rock
Feb. 22 — Springdale Don Tyson School of Innovation (boys only)
Feb. 25 — at LR Episcopal
Feb. 29 — Byrd (at LR Episcopal) (girls only)
Mar. 2 — at Mount St. Mary/LR Catholic
Mar. 7 — at Fayetteville (boys only)
Mar. 12 — Pulaski Academy
Mar. 14 — at Don Tyson School of Innovation, Springdale (boys only)
Mar. 14 — at Bentonville
Apr. 5 — Fayetteville (boys only)
Apr. 9 — at Pulaski Academy
Apr. 11 — Byrd (at Pulaski Academy) (girls only)
Apr. 15 — Little Rock Episcopal
Apr. 18 — Bentonville (boys only)
Apr. 23 — Mount St. Mary/LR Catholic
Apr. 25 — Natural State LAX championship, Hendrix College, Conway