9 p.m., most people are finishing up homework, relaxing, or partying, but one group of students is arriving at lower Pritchett field with gear in hand ready to practice for the next two hours.
The SHSU lacrosse club practices Mondays and Wednesday’s from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Pritchett field.
Keyword is club, which is something interesting about the lacrosse team.
“Club, how I would consider it, is more pay to play,” Lacrosse club President, and senior Kenny Jonga said. “You get more of a bond with more people because you are spending your own money to join.”
To join the lacrosse club, prospective members have to pay a membership fee of 650 dollars. This money is used so that the players get quality gear.
“The membership fee gets you an equipment bag, helmet, uniform, team gloves and your own stick,” Jonga said.
Any other gear, such as protective padding for the body and cleats, players have to pay an out of pocket expense.
Lacrosse is known for being a rough contact sport, sort of like football. Protective padding could go along way for keeping a player safe.
“I’m not going say you are going to leave the game without any cuts or bruises,” Treasurer and senior Austin Shafer said. “It is about adapting to the pain. You just have to get used to it.”
More pads and protective gear would be a solution to the pain problem, but that is not the overall agreement within the lacrosse organization.
“I think the sport is in a good place with the amount of padding available,” Shafer said. “Lacrosse is agility based, and having too much padding restricts the ability to move quickly. It is a matter of preference really, but most guys do not like to use that much.”
People seem to think that the reason why the lacrosse team is not scholarship available is because of Title IX, which mandates equal opportunity for all genders in all events if financial aid is being received, this is not the case. Although the lacrosse team is full of men, the organization would never turn someone down if they wanted to play.
“Title IX does not affect us, but if a women wanted to play with us, we would for sure let them, the issue just has not really come up,” Shafer said. “Women’s lacrosse and men’s lacrosse are very different.”
The club competes in Division 2 of the Lone Star Alliance, a conference within the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association.
“Once league games start up in the spring, we will have one game a week,” Jonga said. “It is fall ball right now, so we are just getting used to everything, and we will probably only have one or two games this semester.”
The Bearkat lacrosse team predicts that Pritchett Field will play host to seven games spread across the fall and spring. The team would love to see the field packed with Bearkat fans and spirit.
“Lacrosse is very unique,” Jonga said. “When you experience it, it is almost like an explosion to a new sport. It is growing rapidly, especially in the south, which is traditionally dominated by football.”
Shafer believes that the sport of lacrosse would excite Bearkats with the sport’s style of play.
“It is a sport that keeps going,” Shafer said. “The players are continuously moving, like hockey, so it is something that people shouldn’t overlook.”
The team’s complete game schedule will soon announced on their twitter @SHSULacrosse.