College lacrosse coaches and players run through drills with Booker Elementary School students as sport continues to grow in urban areas

Lacrosse continuing to gain momentum in Newtown section of Sarasota.
Lacrosse continuing to gain momentum in Newtown section of Sarasota.(WWSB)
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 5:46 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The head lacrosse coach, an assistant coach and five players from Florida Southern College in Lakeland spending part of their Wednesday at Booker Elementary School in Sarasota. They were going through skills and drills with the young players.

“It’s just great seeing the joy in the kid’s faces, really being able to work with them,” said Marty Ward, head lacrosse coach for Florida Southern. “Seeing their first time passion of picking up a stick and really believing it is a medicine game, and it does make you feel great when you play the game of lacrosse.”

Lacrosse is a sport that continues to grow in some of the urban areas across the Suncoast including Newtown, thanks to Coach Nick Mihailoff. These young players were thrilled to learn from these college players and coaches.

“I really want to keep playing because they taught us a lot of things about playing lacrosse, now I really understand it,” said Ja’Riyah Bell, a Booker Elementary School Lacrosse player.

Right now more than 100 players from Booker Elementary School and 50 from Booker Middle School are playing the sport. Some of the kids just learning about the game.

“I never played lacrosse before, it was my first time playing lacrosse,” said Marcus Jackson. “This is a good experience playing lacrosse for the first time.”

The kids were playing lacrosse matches against each other earlier this year. Those games are expected to pick up once again in the Spring. There are also plans to bring lacrosse to Booker High School sometime next year.