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Crown Point lacrosse seniors unable to play on campus this season

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CP Lacrosse

There are seven seniors on the boys team. From left, they are Bill McCall, Ben Ogrentz, Tate Liskey, Bryce Poling-Pineda, James Hajduk, Eli Davis and Lucas Martin. 

CROWN POINT — For student-athletes in high school, their final game of the senior season is significant. 

However, the Crown Point Lacrosse Club will not be able to play that game on campus. 

“I think all of us are disappointed and kind of upset. Every other sport gets to be recognized at the high school, where they actually go to school. I am kind of frustrated we are at some other place,” Bryce Poling, a Crown Point senior on the lacrosse club, said. In the four years Poling has been on the club, it has never played or practiced on campus. 

Team captain Bill McCall and many members of the boys' lacrosse club appeared in front of the Crown Point school board in April to ask if they could play their final home games at the stadium, but they were informed that it was against board policy. 

Board policy 7510 prohibits the lacrosse club from using the football stadium or soccer field. While it can use practice facilities, Carrie Liskey, president of Crown Point Lacrosse, has indicated that they are not the best due to weather concerns with a grass field and the need to chalk the field. 

This rule is not limited to lacrosse. The full policy outlines facility use procedures. Facilities are available to be rented, such as lecture rooms, the cafeteria, gymnasiums and practice fields. However, the football, soccer, baseball stadium and softball stadiums are not permitted to be used by Class II or Class III organizations. 

Lacrosse is a Class II organization and not currently an Indiana High School Athletic Association sport, meaning it is organized by the community rather than Crown Point Community School Corp. 

According to Superintendent Todd Terrill, changing the policy would impact more than just lacrosse. 

“If the policy is changed, it’s changed for everyone, and that means this is a much broader topic with many components to consider,” he said in an email. 

There would be additional logistics to sort out, such as event security, custodial services, increased maintenance, scheduling procedures and IHSAA facility requirements. Changing the policy would likely mean other community organizations could use the stadiums, which is why it is a larger conversation beyond lacrosse, Terrill said. 

Currently, Crown Point Lacrosse plays at the Crown Point Sportsplex through the parks department. Liskey said the space works well, but players are still not entirely happy playing off campus. 

“I think our players are the ones that feel the sting of working so hard for something that means so very much and not being able to be recognized by their high school,” Liskey said. 

McCall brought this issue to the school board in October and again in April, but the board members indicated that it may not be possible to address or change the policy until next school year. For the seven seniors on the boys' team, they were unlikely to ever play on campus. 

“They’re proud of their high school and they’re proud of what they do on the lacrosse field. The perfect world for them would be those two worlds getting to overlap for an evening,” Liskey said. 

Liskey anticipated the answer during the board meeting, but she was proud of the team for showing up and making their voices heard despite the disappointment. Poling said he wished they would have given a more definitive answer and a plan. 

Other schools allow lacrosse to play on campus despite being a community-organized sport. Munster High School allows the use of their stadiums and soccer fields, and Chesterton High School allows the use of their soccer field for lacrosse, Liskey said. 

Tate Liskey, a senior on the team, emphasized how proud they are to be part of Crown Point High School and the lacrosse club. 

"We like the school, and we just want to be more part of it," Tate Liskey said. 

Poling said many people have never heard of lacrosse or are unaware of the team, which makes it disappointing that they cannot play on campus and be recognized to help generate awareness. 

“It’s the high school and city we represent every time we step on the field,” Poling said. 

The Senior Night game is 6 p.m. Wednesday against Munster High School.

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