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Brooklyn Lacrosse Launches Girls Program

Five-month-old organization expands to bring the sport to kids across the borough.

The Brooklyn Lacrosse Club knew it had something special on its hands before its first player ever hit the field. Founded in the Spring of 2012 by Joe Nocella and Khalid West, Brooklyn Lacrosse took a chance and applied for US Lacrosse’s “First Stick” National Grant, a program that helps new lacrosse organizations remove as many traditional barriers of entry as possible.

With a mission of bringing the sport to Brooklyn, and emphasizing fundamentals, team, respect and Brooklyn, Brooklyn Lacrosse was awarded the First Stick grant on the eve of its inaugural Fall 2012 season.

“We were awarded First Stick based solely on our clear mission and our incredible staff”, explains Nocella. It was the clarity of purpose that allowed Brooklyn Lacrosse to have a successful Fall 2012 season.  “We were successful in the number of kids we had sign up, but more importantly, we were successful in the quality of the interaction with each player.  That comes from having the best coaches around.” Backing up that claim, Brooklyn Lacrosse lists a coaching roster that includes Division 1 and 2 National Champions, State High School Champions, Hall of Famers, School Record Holders, and former Professional League Players.

Before the dust settled from the Fall season, Nocella and West were planning on a huge launch of the girls lacrosse program for the Spring 2013 season. Commented Nocella, “It was important that we located coaches who were passionate about the women's game, had experience playing at the highest levels, and also understood the opportunities that abounds for girls lacrosse in Brooklyn”. Boys in Brooklyn have sports opportunities that extend well into their teens.  With girls, those options aren't as plentiful.  Lacrosse represents a chance to get involved with a sport that has incredible scholarship opportunities

Good news travels fast, and quickly Brooklyn Lacrosse found itself staring at a [digital] pile of resumes. The schools where these women have played read like a who’s who in lacrosse history... Hopkins, Syracuse, Towson.  This is where Brooklyn Lacrosse had the good fortune to cross paths with former Syracuse lacrosse player Shari Appollon.

"After moving to Brooklyn in 2010 to be closer to my family, I was perplexed at the lack of sporting options for young females in the borough" explains Shari. "Lacrosse can be a major tool in developing leadership qualities in girls along with giving them a healthy sense of comradery, positive self esteem, and physical activity. After meeting Joe and Khalid I knew that we could help foster future leaders in Brooklyn through the fun sport of lacrosse".

Shari was recently named Girls Lacrosse Director for Brooklyn Lacrosse, and is looking to tap into her vast resources of former players and current top-level coaches. Shari will be joined with the most dynamic coaching staff in NYC women's lacrosse. Brooklyn Lacrosse will be hosting 3 free clinics in February, and is set to hit the field in early March on the new Pier 5 Field at Brooklyn Bridge Park.  See more information here.

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