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NVUSD approves adding lacrosse programs at Napa and Vintage high schools
Posted 5/24/19

lacrosse students


Athletics rosters at Napa and Vintage High Schools are expanding next year, with the addition of both boys and girls lacrosse programs. Ongoing discussions between the district, schools and the community about adding lacrosse came to fruition after the NVUSD Board of Trustees formally approved adding the programs to the athletics line-up during their meeting on May 23. The sport, currently the fastest-growing in the United States, debuts in spring 2020.

Over the years, many high school students have expressed interest in playing lacrosse, however, adding the program faced both logistical and financial roadblocks. Prior to moving to the Vine Valley Athletic League under the North Coast Section umbrella last year, there simply were not enough high school teams to play within a reasonable distance from Napa. The new league placement resolved the travel issues and with strong community financial support, the programs look forward to a successful kickoff.

“When I arrived in NVUSD nearly a year ago, I was so impressed with the enthusiasm and support for high school athletics, both within the schools and the larger Napa Valley community,” Superintendent Dr. Rosanna Mucetti said. “As a district, we strive to evolve and expand programs when feasible and in this instance we had an outpouring of support from students, administrators, families and the local community. It was evident that lacrosse was a missing piece of our stellar athletics program and it made sense to add it at this time,” Mucetti added.

Both schools plan to fill rosters for JV and Varsity teams, allowing opportunities for players at all levels to join the sport. Currently, for students at Napa’s public high schools, the only option to play lacrosse competitively is via the local club team, Napa Force. “In the past, since lacrosse was not offered at the public high schools, many of the club’s dedicated players chose to attend private schools to compete at the high school level,” according to Karen Fontanella, President of Napa Force. Adding the sport can help with the loss of enrollment to private schools if made an option for many of the club’s players. The club has raised over $25,000 to donate to the lacrosse program and is “ready to assist in any way to ensure it is both a successful and accessible program,” Fontanella said.

“Expanding athletics offerings engages more students overall and sends a positive message to the student body,” Sarah O’Connor, Principal of Vintage High School said. “When you add a sport, it is another option for students to be involved, our athletics program is recharged and community and school spirit increases.The time was right to add the sport, and it was done in a fair and equitable way by offering it at both high schools given the local demand,” added O’Connor.

With an official program on the books, next steps include recruiting coaches, securing equipment and field space, filling rosters, and reaching out to parent volunteers. “Our goal is to hire quality coaches who instill the athletic values that we promote here at Napa High School and within our district,” Napa High Athletic Director, Darci Ward said. “We hope to have strong parental involvement to help support our Boosters and the ability to launch a successful program at the onset,” Napa High Athletic Director Darci Ward said.

Napa High 11th grader Lainey Laband is excited to play lacrosse for Napa High and recruit others to join. Since moving here from Maine where she started playing the sport, she was disappointed to learn that lacrosse was not offered at Napa High School.

“When we bring lacrosse to Napa High, I'm hoping people get out of their comfort zone and try it out because it's such a lively sport, but can be quite a challenge to learn. We have a few other lacrosse players at Napa High who are very talented, and I can't wait to play with them next year when we're a part of a school team,” Laband said.