The Flathead lacrosse club, compiled of players from across the valley, placed third at the Montana High School Lacrosse Championships at Dornblaser Field in Missoula last weekend.
The local club lost to Polson in overtime, 6-5, on Saturday but rallied back to beat Missoula Big Sky, 6-4, in loser-out action. Flathead beat Missoula Sentinel, 10-6, in the consolation game to finish third. Missoula Hellgate beat Bozeman, 14-4, to win the championship.
This season the Flathead Lacrosse team nearly doubled participation from last year, a trend that has continued the last two seasons, according to head coach Eric Hanson. There are nearly 130 players registered, up from 70 in 2011, and just 28 players in 2010, Hanson said. There are youth and high school teams within the program.
A girls program began this year with 24 girls picking up sticks and eye masks to try the new sport, Hanson said.
“The Flathead team truly has a representation from the entire valley,” Hanson wrote in an email to the Beacon.
Lacrosse continues to growth statewide, with Billings adding a high school team, a referee training program beginning and a general rise in player participation around the state, Hanson said.
Hanson expects to see new teams representing Kalispell, Polson, Browning, Stevensville and possibly Helena next year.
“The sport is really taking an interest from athletes who are looking for an exciting, fast-paced and competitive team sport that is unique from other sports traditionally played in the spring time,” Hanson wrote.
For more information, visit the Flathead Lacrosse website.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.