Coaches and players prepare for a game during the 2009 LYLA season.
Liverpool Earl Hall is a big believer in the power of lacrosse.
“Lacrosse does not have any physical requirements like some sports, other than a child’s ability to provide a good effort and have a big heart,” said Hall, who is president of the board of the Liverpool Youth Lacrosse Association. “Lacrosse is fast-paced, high scoring and a little physical, which kids love. There is a uniquely strong friendship that players develop among themselves and their families that is difficult to describe, but inevitably occurs no matter where you play the game. Kids will find they may one day be able to play for Liverpool High School and compete in Section III, which is arguably the best high school girls and boys lacrosse in the nation. The sport, along with good grades, will open up many educational opportunities at various universities or colleges which might not be available had the student not played lacrosse, and I’m the poster child for that.”
Hall, a former Liverpool High School lacrosse player (class of 1985), has been coaching for LYLA for seven years. Founded in 1996 by Phil and Lucy Van Horne, the Liverpool Youth Lacrosse Association aims to provide all kids in the Liverpool school district in kindergarten through eighth grade with the opportunity to learn how to play lacrosse. The league, which includes about 350 boys and girls, is associated with the Upstate Lacrosse Association (ULA), which has approximately 4,500 kids playing lacrosse. Following the ULA philosophy, LYLA is an instructional and developmental league which focuses on teaching the kids basic fundamentals of the game while making it fun.
“LYLA is powered by our volunteer coaches, most of whom played lacrosse and love teaching the game,” Hall said. “And of course the parents, who sacrifice their time and money in an effort to have their child play lacrosse.”