Lacrosse youth participation rates are growing in Kansas, while some schools are experiencing difficulties fielding a football team.
Prince of Peace grade school in Olathe has seen a 60 percent decrease over the past six years in football participation.
Parents like Scott Tomc are concerned for their children’s safety while playing football. “It’s a sport that we all love, but at the same time you almost sit there and cringe when you watch a game because you almost see someone’s golden years almost dematerialize right before your very eyes,” Tomc said.
Even his son, Kyle Tomc who plays both football and lacrosse for Benedictine University in Atchison, said that there is a difference in being hit in football compared to lacrosse. “There is a lot less risk here than on the football field but it can get a little rough, you’ve just got to play
“There is a lot less risk here than on the football field but it can get a little rough, you’ve just got to play smart,” Kyle Tomc said.
Lacrosse is now being taught in many grade schools, like Prince of Peace. This could be a less physical alternative for parents who don’t want their children playing football.
Gordon Harton, the President of the Lacrosse Association of Kansas City, thinks that promotion will help to continue the sport’s momentum into younger generations.
“To have a larger championship game, to get more publicity which actually helps the youth lacrosse go as more people are aware that we are actually playing boys lacrosse in Kansas,” Harton said.