Local women trying to bring lacrosse to Munster area

2014-06-06T17:00:00Z 2014-06-07T01:11:58Z Local women trying to bring lacrosse to Munster areaJohn Burbridge, (219) 933-3371

MUNSTER | After several family moves across the midwest, Karen Cipowski-Smith came to believe that lacrosse was like the post office -- every community had it (or one).

"When we lived in (central) Illinois, there was lacrosse ... when my husband's job sent us to Ohio, there was lacrosse," Cipowski-Smith said. "That's why when we got to Munster, I expected there would be lacrosse here, too."

There's not, but not for long if Ciposwki-Smith can help it.

"There will be lacrosse here ... I know we can do it," she said.

With fellow Munster resident Lisa Wilson, Cipowski-Smith formed the Munster Lacrosse Club.

"We first met while volunteering to work at a Halloween Party at Wilbur Wright," Wilson said. "We got to talking about lacrosse, and how it would be nice if we could start it here."

Wilson's brother-in-law started a lacrosse club in Illinois, so she knows it can be done.

"And the people from the Crown Point Lacrosse Club are willing to help guide us," Wilson said.

Cipowski-Smith and Wilson both have children who either play the sport or have recently taken a great interest in it.

"My son was reading a book on lacrosse, and he was fascinated by the history of it," Wilson said of the sport that dates back to the early 12th Century, easily the oldest sport in North America.

Both women see the sport as another option, especially for those young athletes kicked to the curb after being cut from their school or travel team sports.

"When you get to high school, you may have more than 50 or 60 kids trying out for the tennis team, or more than 250 going out for track," Cipowski-Smith said. "There are only so many spots available when you get to that level. So where to the kids who don't make the team go?

"Lacrosse could provide another opportunity to stay active."

Cipowski-Smith and Wilson conducted an informational public meeting May 29 at Munster Town Hall to drum up support and gauge interest. The plan is to start practicing and playing in spring of 2015.

"We're confident we can field girls and boys middle school teams," Cipowski-Smith said. "We're open to other levels depending who we can attract."

The fledgling club is willing to take players from all communities.

"When it comes to raising enough money for equipment and finding a place to play ... I don't see that stopping us," Cipowski-Smith said. "We still need the kids, though."

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