After nearly a year of convincing the district that their sport deserves CIF status, area lacrosse clubs are celebrating the Conejo Valley Unified School District school board’s decision to approve teams at Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and Westlake high schools for the 2010 season.
Many cheered when the unanimous decision was read at last week’s CVUSD board meeting.
“It was pretty awesome, right?” said Frank Semenza, the TOHS lacrosse club’s co-director.
“We’re very excited. And our kids, what’s important to them is that they’re going to have more opportunity. They are excited there’s going to be more competition and they’ll get to play more schools.”
The three Marmonte League schools join the Agoura and Calabasas lacrosse teams, which received CIF approval in June.
Oak Park and Oaks Christian already have teams.
A group of Thousand Oaks Lacrosse Club parents and leaders have been present at several board meetings over the last year, battling local club track and football teams that are concerned about the availability of facilities.
Many expressed concern that their practices would be more difficult to schedule with another high school team taking priority.
Lacrosse representatives have repeatedly assured the board that they would not affect other schedules and would be happy to practice wherever and whenever was convenient.
By the last meeting, most track club representatives had begun praising the lacrosse club members for their good attitudes and extreme flexibility and compromise.
“We just wanted to thank the T.O. lacrosse community for the grace they’ve shown in their support for track,” said John Andersen, a track supporter.
School athletic directors, however, were still on hand at the meeting to voice concerns.
Thousand Oaks High athletic director Jason Klinger and Westlake athletic director Nicole Funfar said the new teams would mean at least 20 more games where an administrator is required to attend.
Since the meeting, Semenza said the teams have been meeting and working with their athletic directors.
The lacrosse teams will be completely self-funded.
Title IX concerns were laid to rest with assurances that girls would be allowed to try out for the teams.