|By Jeff Schuler, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Just two years after the sport was basically introduced to the community with the creation of the Northampton Area Youth Lacrosse club, the Konkrete Kids are in the midst of their first varsity seasons.
Predictably, success is being measured in "teaching moments," not victories.
The girls are 0-4 after a 22-5 loss to
"I'm not worried about winning these games," said K-Kids boys coach
"Most of my girls have never even picked up a lacrosse stick until this year," added
The boys were shut out by
"Before our first game we had been on a lined field for about an hour because of the weather, and
The team took a step forward early last week in a 13-3 loss to
"Once they realized they could play with a team that was more on our caliber, they started playing with a lot more confidence," he said.
Warbrick admits coaching such an inexperienced team has been "challenging."
"It's a lot to take on, considering we really don't have a feeder program yet," said Warbrick, who played on the last four women's lacrosse teams at
"For us, it's a matter of learning the game one day at a time," she added. "As coaches you have to be really encouraging and enthusiastic, and do our best to outline how things are supposed to work. And I have seen significant improvement, and I think the girls have fallen in love with the sport. That helps keep me going, and that's probably the best part of being part of a young program."
Engleby, who with boys assistant
"In years to come, that will be a goal," Engleby predicted. "We focus on those small victories, creating an atmosphere of having fun and learning the game. I wouldn't say we have an us-against-the-world feeling, but we understand where we are and what we're doing.
"What we're doing right now is all effort-based -- if a key works hard, he's going to play, and that's very attractive to players. We care about using the proper techniques and executing to the best of our [current] abilities."
"We do everything that we would do for any other sport, and we try to accommodate them as much as we can. We just don't pay anything financially," Bowser said. "Lacrosse is a very expensive sport in terms of equipment, and we were not as a school board and district prepared to take that expense on at this time."
The club provides uniforms and equipment out of club membership dues. It is also responsible for hiring the coaches. Since lacrosse is a sanctioned PIAA sport, all club players in the high school program must be residents of the school district and comply with all state eligibility and insurance requirements.
For Bowser, the current situation is a case of deja vu. As a teacher at
"Lacrosse is the fastest-growing sport in America right now, and we were really fortunate to have a new AD come in from a place where lacrosse began the same way and became very successful," said Engleby, a
Engleby said the club is growing below the high school level, adding age levels every year. He's looking forward to the day when former
"I'm confident in the future of our program," said Engleby, adding he'd be "really surprised" if lacrosse wasn't adopted, in his words, by the school district in three or four years. "We're adding more parts of the feeder program every year, and almost all the kids from last year came back this year. They're all very proud that we're beginning something here that's going to last a long time."
(c)2014 The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)
Visit The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.) at www.mcall.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services