That was the situation that faced Woodcreek High lacrosse founder and head coach Paul Greenhill when he started the new program at the school in November.
One of the fastest growing sports in the world, lacrosse is just starting to catch on in the Roseville area. Granite Bay High has a thriving program, but there was nothing available at the other high schools around the city. That’s when Greenhill, a former college player, decided to put an ad in the local newspaper and start a program from scratch.
“These kids just picked it up and ran with it,” Paul said.
Now entering the month of February, Woodcreek has a full junior varsity team and is competing in the Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association. The program is a club team, which means they are not directly associated with the school and compete in a private league.
“It’s going about as well as we expected,” said assistant coach Bill Crowley.
Crowley was the first person to answer Greenhill’s ad in the paper. He is also a former college player, and was excited for the opportunity to coach.
Finding players who wanted to be in the program was a challenge, but the duo was able to recruit a team in just two months. They were able to pull five Roseville players who were already involved in the Granite Bay lacrosse program, giving them a foundation to work with.
After that, a series of school announcements, fundraising, and booster club meetings completed their roster. With such little experience it will be a challenge for them to compete against more developed programs, but Greenhill is confident in his players.
“Eighty percent of our kids had never even seen a lacrosse stick,” Crowley said. “We are going to educate them on how to play and respect the game.”
“It’s a sport that’s taking off,” said Kim Carbime, one of the primary fundraisers for the program. “We can’t believe how may people are interested in it.”
Woodcreek’s season opens with a home game today at their home field, the football stadium at Woodcreek High. They will be taking on Folsom at 11 a.m. Other teams on Woodcreek’s schedule include Oakland Tech, Yuba City, Gold Country, Pleasant Grove, Redding, and Sierra Foothills.
Greenhill is not just looking at the present but also into the future. He has goals that he would like to achieve as the program progresses.
“Right now we just have a JV team, so in the future we would also like to have a varsity squad,” Greenhill said.
There are also hopes of starting a girls’ program. Ultimately, Greenhill would like to have four teams – JV and varsity for both girls and boys.
Greenhill and Crowley have high hopes for the program. They will get a lot of help from the rising popularity of the sport.
“It’s the fastest growing sport in the world, growing almost 20 percent every year,” Crowley said.