RUPERT • Some Rupert youngsters want the city to help them establish a youth lacrosse league.
East Minico eighth-graders Grayson Boldt, 13, and Taylor Wilson, 14, asked the City Council last month to help them with that endeavor.
“I think it would be really fun, and a lot of kids would want to play,” Taylor said.
Said Grayson, “I wanted to try and bring some diversity in ... not everybody wants to play football and basketball.”
Rupert officials said they’d like to help.
“I feel that anything that gets kids out and exercising is a good thing,” said Mary Anderson, of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
But the sport is unfamiliar, and the equipment costs about $200 per player for pads, helmets and sticks. More youths would be needed, too
“For us to do it and get started, we need to look at probably 60 kids,” said Anderson.
“We have close to about 50 who want to play,” said Grayson. “We’ve lost track of how many want to play. We’re also trying to figure out the rules and who could coach the teams.”
“They need some help getting started,” said his father, Michael Grayson. “We’re trying to get things put together, but we just don’t know much about the sport.”
“They’re in a better situation than you’d think,” said Kristy Sligar of the Idaho Lacrosse Association.
Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Logan, Utah, all have lacrosse leagues with teams that could play a Mini-Cassia team.
Also, Sligar said, “We have a lot of teams in Boise. But we also have a bunch of lacrosse players at BYU Idaho in Rexburg that play during the summer. We can get these players to help teach the sport. We need to find people who know the game and are willing to teach. That’s a huge obstacle. Getting a parent to learn the game and be a coach is what the kids need.”
As for the city, she said, “Maybe we can start small. In the beginning, the city can buy sticks, and we’ll teach basic stick skills. Then, in a year, we can get pads and start teaching additional skills. There’s nothing wrong with baby steps.”
Girls’ and boys’ lacrosse has differences, too, Sligar said. Boys play in full contact and need constant player substitutions. Girls play typically the same 12 players for an entire game.
The Idaho Lacrosse Association is excited about the prospect of a league in the Mini-Cassia area, though, and already has started trying to generate interest. Clinics held in Twin Falls taught people lacrosse basics, and now the association has set its sights on Rupert.
“We’re actively looking at Twin Falls and Rupert to grow the sport,” said Sligar.
The ILA also has held officiating clinics in Pocatello and Twin Falls to help train officiators. Sligar said she will get in touch with the Rupert boys and help them on their way.
“We thought we could invite these boys to Boise and pay for their stay and then take them to a Boise State lacrosse game. We could even let them participate in a youth game,” she said.