By Chris Goldberg
LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 10/21/11
Editor’s Note – This is one of a series of articles profiling programs that build lacrosse on Long Island. To suggest a story idea on a LI lacrosse program deserving recognition, e-mail us at golax@LILacrosseNews.com
Long Island Park Lacrosse (LIparklacrosse.com)was created three years ago to provide lacrosse players from the New Hyde Park area and surrounding towns with an opportunity to play lacrosse during all seasons.
Eric Rudd, a program founder, wanted to give players from some of the less served towns and also players from underserved areas the chance to learn the sport and also to play together into their high school years.
Today there are more than 200 boys and girls in the program in grades 4 through 11. Park Lacrosse has travel teams and also provides summer camps and fall and winter leagues.
“There was a need for a lacrosse program in the New Hyde Park area and beyond,” said Rudd. “We created the lacrosse organization to give three players the chance to play in three seasons and to provide summer teams and training.
“You can’t put a stick in a lacrosse player’s hand in April and expect him to be good varsity player and a future college player.
“They have the chance to play round if they want to. We strive on keeping our teams together to be competitive.”
Most of the players in the program eventually attend New Hyde Park, Levittown, Mineola, Herricks, Kellenberg Memorial, Regis High East, Meadow, Sewanhaka, Clark, and other high schools in the surrounding area.
Rudd said players currently in college and others that played at the college level serve as coaches for summer travel teams down to Little Laxer summer camps for boys and girls in K through Grade 5.
Recently, graduates from local high school volunteered as part of a community service project to coach youths at a fall clinic program at Memorial Park. At least 10 coaches stressed fundamentals of lacrosse.
“The concept is that we’re always teaching kids to get them to the next level,” Rudd said. “We don’t have the big name players, but our kids look up to the older players.”