Steamboat Springs Much convincing on the part of some students and parents remains to be done, but Steamboat Springs High School could see yet another sports team in its athletics program in the near future.
A group of about 60 to 70 students and parents is pushing for a boys lacrosse team at Steamboat Springs High School, where 18 sports teams already exist, said Mike Knezevich, assistant principal.
Ryan Scheer, a junior at the high school, is one of the students pushing for the sport, which was first played by North American Indians.
"I think we're getting pretty good support from the parents and community," Scheer said.
Since February, there has been a concerted effort by the students to try to put together a team, said Knezevich, chairman of the lacrosse committee at the Colorado High School Activities Association.
Several meetings have taken place in the past three months, as students and parents have met with Knezevich and Athletics Director Steve Moos to discuss what it would take to add the team.
At a meeting earlier this month, Moos outlined 10 criteria that must be evaluated before a decision can be made.
The criteria includes start-up expenses, availability of competition, community support and strain on existing programs.
Paul Youngs, a parent involved in the effort, said it would cost about $18,750 to create a team. A little less than $3,000 already has been pledged, Youngs said.
But expenses are not the most important issue in the decision-making process, Moos said. He believes the students and parents will gather enough pledges to build a team.
Some of the more vital issues right now, Moos said, are the shortage of practice facilities and the impact a boys lacrosse team could have on existing teams.
A lacrosse team in the spring could pull athletes from the baseball and track and field programs.
Supporters of the team plan to make a final pitch to Knezevich, Moos and Principal David Schmid during a meeting June 5.
The presentation will involve a discussion of the 10 criteria outlined by Moos.
The students and parents will strive to have all of the pledges gathered by the June 5 meeting, Youngs said.
Moos was not certain when a final decision will be made, though it could be determined by late summer, he said.
If a boys lacrosse team is formed, the Sailors lacrosse players could not compete in the Western Slope League because no school in the conference currently fields a boys lacrosse team, Moos said.
Instead, the Sailors players would compete against Front Range teams, just as the Steamboat girls lacrosse team does, Moos said.
Dusti Henning, a junior at Steamboat Springs High School who is hoping to play lacrosse next season, believes the Sailors will be competitive if a team is fielded.
"I know we'll do well," Henning said. "Maybe not the first year. But, Steamboat will come around. We have some of the best athletes in the state as far as I'm concerned."