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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, April 9, 2009
Voorheesville parent plans a proposal for lacrosse
By Jordan J. Michael
VOORHEESVILLE Douglas Brill hopes that one day there will be a Blackbird varsity lacrosse team. He’s already begun the process.
Brill is currently running a self-funded Capital District Youth Lacrosse League team in Voorheesville, consisting of 20 seventh- and eighth-graders.
“My son, Daniel, is an eighth-grader and has been playing lacrosse for a while in Guilderland before now,” said Brill. “He told me that he wanted to play lacrosse in high school, so I decided to start a team and formulate a future plan for the school.”
Brill told The Enterprise that the plan would be proposed to the Voorheesville School Board as a self-funded program, saving the district from paying for the lacrosse team.
“I’m not going to the board yet because we have to get all the money worked out,” Brill said. “A couple of kids had sticks and a pair of gloves; that’s it.”
So, he said, the team needs roughly $8,000 for equipment, goals, and the basics. “You start with zero and work you’re way up,” he said.
“I highly doubt that the school would fund this program, given the economic state of things,” said Brill, who plans to go before the board in either May or June. “That’s why my plan is to be self-funded for the first few years. If the team had smooth sailing for a couple years on its own, maybe the school would pick up some of the slack after a while.”
Voorheesville Athletic Director Joe Sapienza told The Enterprise that it would be difficult to add lacrosse into Voorheesville’s spring schedule.
“I feel as though our enrollment is too small for a lacrosse team,” Sapienza said. “Most schools our size don’t have lacrosse and never will have lacrosse. Also, things have been cut lately due to the economy. It’s not the right time to be adding programs.”
“I’m working on establishing the youth and building up an interest for lacrosse in Voorheesville,” Brill said. “That way, I have a feeder team for the junior-varsity and it proves that kids are interested in playing the sport.”
Brill played lacrosse himself as a high school student at Baldwinsville. He went on to play for Hudson Valley Community College in the 1980s when it first had a team unusual for the era.
Brill has mapped out a five to eight-year plan. “The first year would be a junior-varsity team for ninth- and 10th-graders,” he said. “The second year would expand the team to include 11th-graders and a varsity team would be started for the third year. Hopefully, funding would be completely picked up by the school come the eighth year.”
“If a bunch of athletes came to me and said they wanted a team, then I suppose this proposal could get interesting,” said Sapienza. “We would have to look at a number of issues and it would be a long, drawn-out process. We would need big numbers and lots of talent to compete with the bigger schools.”
Brill’s youth team is only two months old and that’s where his focus is currently. The team is getting funding from wherever possible.
“Some organizations have been really helpful and supportive so far by giving us equipment and stuff,” said Brill. “It’s really important to get these young kids some experience so Voorheesville can have a talented lacrosse team in the future.”
A few people have told Brill that lacrosse would take away from other sports like baseball and track. He doesn’t agree with that theory.
“I have 20 kids right now who want to play lacrosse all the way through high school,” Brill said. “I also believe that it could give kids that don’t play any spring sports a new opportunity. These kids are committed to lacrosse and people are starting to talk.”