Spring has sprung, which can only mean one thing in the sports world to more than 300 local youth athletes…. it is time to take center field for the Parkland RedHawks Lacrosse recreational program. And they sure have!
In mid February, several hundred area youths took to their home field at Pine Trails Park in Parkland and will continue their season through the rest of this month. And when the RedHawks take to the road, they visit the other teams within the South Florida Youth Lacrosse League. From as far north as Wellington, Boca Raton and Lighthouse Point down to Davie, Weston, Plantation, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, the RedHawks are represented by both boys and girls divisions, separately, at ages U6, U8, U10, U12 and U14.
This well-oiled machine has been running for decades and 2022’s season, has kept up with the program’s esteemed reputation once again. Perhaps that is the reason as to why more than 75 percent of its participants return from one year to the next, in which this season accounts for the most athletes since the league’s inception.
“Lacrosse is a sport about being on a team and learning how to work together,” says Parkland RedHawks first-year President James Gianos.
“And that’s really true about (youth) sports in general and this Parkland lacrosse is such a great organization to be a part of,” adds James, whose own two children play for the RedHawks.
Despite James’ program in its season just during the late winter/early Spring, the RedHawks Board Members are hard at work all year long. From purchasing equipment and uniforms to overall in-season preparations, James and Company are RedHawks-occupied throughout the year; they also consume their schedules with planning for their several free-of-charge pre-season clinics, which give an opportunity to first-time lacrosse players an introduction to what is affectionately known as ‘the fastest game on two feet’.
Staying true-to-form as a recreational youth sports program, each player who registers to play for the RedHawks is assigned to an age-appropriate team, as there are no player cuts made. This gives all involved, players, their parents and coaches, an opportunity to see all of the athletes evolve throughout each season.
“The best part about this sport is the parents being able to watch their kids participate in constant action, and the kids really enjoy it,” James adds, as a RedHawks parent himself.
Additionally, James says he sees quite a bit of talent not only spread amongst all of his RedHawks age divisions, but he seems to be impressed with the pipeline that is being built within the RedHawks organization altogether.
“We would really like to (continue to) grow the game more, starting with our younger players,” says James, whose RedHawks presidency is followed by two years of having been on the Board of Directors. “We always like to get more kids out there playing, at all ages, and we can see that lacrosse as a whole is becoming even bigger in South Florida, year after year.”
For more info, visit parklandlacrosse.com