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ULA Youth Leagues Begin Play

Utah Lacrosse AssociationFor Immediate Release – Utah Lacrosse Association
Salt Lake City – April 23, 2013 – I can imagine the early years of Utah Lacrosse was nothing more than some East Coast transplants getting together to toss a ball around in the corner of a park, receiving perplexed stares from the Utah natives. It’s safe to say that the game has come a long way in this state. Lacrosse players are now visible everywhere with sticks in hand, playing catch, and looking for a flat surface to hone their skills by playing wall ball. Today, boys and girls, men and women compete in all levels across Utah. The game is being played at College, High School and Youth levels from Sky View in the North to St. George in the South, and everywhere between. It is great to see lacrosse being played at the College and High School level, but in order to make those programs continue to grow in numbers, as well as the quality of play, it has to begin with the youth.
This past weekend the Utah Lacrosse Association (ULA) kicked off its 14th Youth Lacrosse Season. The ULA Boys program began in 1999 followed by the Girls in 2003.
ULA youth players are divided into the following age groups in alignment with US Lacrosse guidelines:
Boys: Juniors (U-15 7th & 8th grade), Thunder (U-13 5th & 6th grade), Lightening (U-11 3rd & 4th grade), and Storm (U-9 1st & 2nd grade)
There are 1,757 boys registered this spring, playing in 4 age groups on 99 teams representing 15 schools (Bonneville, Brighton, Copper Hills, Davis, Herriman, Jordan, Juan Diego, Judge, Northridge, Olympus, Park City, Riverton, Roy, Skyline, Waterford). New to ULA this year are the Bonneville and Roy programs, helping increase the total number of boys 182 players from the past year.
Girls: Juniors (U-15 7th & 8th grade), Thunder (U-13 4th, 5th & & 6th grade), Lightening (U-11 1st, 2nd, & 3rd grade)
There are 617 girls registered this spring, playing in 3 age groups on 39 teams representing 20 different schools (Alta, American Fork, Bingham, Brighton, Copper Hills, Corner Canyon, Davis, Herriman, Jordan, Juan Diego, Judge, Lehi, Lone Peak, Olympus, Park City, Riverton, Skyline, Viewmont, Weber, and Woods Cross)
This season the boys will compete for Youth Championships in Junior D-I, Junior D-II and, new this year, Thunder D-I. The Girls will look for a Champion in the Junior Division, and both will have All Star games at the end of the season to recognize players that excelled during the spring. If last years Championships were any indication of how competitive it has become, the state is in for a treat again this year.  The 2012 Boys D-I Juniors Champion Brighton (beat Park City 5-4), Boys D=II Juniors Champion Park City (beat Waterford 5-4), and Girls D-I Juniors Champion Park City (beat Bingham 11-8) are all back looking to defend their titles.
ULA has taken large strides this year in its quest to become a model of excellence for all US Lacrosse Chapter’s. ULA improvements on the youth side began with communication between ULA and the school programs, both large and small. Bryan Frates has made it known, “We here at ULA want all input, both positive and negative, and welcome any suggestions on how to make this the best lacrosse experience for the players and parents”. Mason Goodhand (Men’s Head Coach Westminster College) has headed up the Coaches Education program. This program is designed to educate the coaches that are new to the game and provide continuing education to the seasoned veterans. The surveys show it has been extremely valuable to coaches across the state, a great success. ULA’s new council members worked hard on getting divisions set and the schedules out sooner than ever before while attempting to accommodate the many requests coming into the office. ULA also had their best turnout for the preseason coaches meeting. These meetings answered many of the questions and concerns the coaching community had, and helped prepare them for the upcoming year. ULA continues to work on making their referee’s the best and most knowledgeable in the state as the leagues begin to adapt to the new US Lacrosse youth rules and guidelines.
On behalf of ULA, we wish all Youth lacrosse players (across our program, the state, the country, and the world) a great and safe season.
Jeff Brzoska
ULA Juniors Commissioner
For more information about The Utah Lacrosse Association (ULA) visit our website (www.utahlax.org) or check us out on Facebook.
For all your lacrosse news, past and present, please visit our friends at Utah Lacrosse News (www.utahlacrossenews.com) or go to their Facebook page.

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