When we think of springtime activities for our kids, baseball, softball, track, and soccer come to mind. But lacrosse is another spring sport that has dominated the conversation in recent years, and it has gained a lot of popularity in the Oak Park-River Forest communities due to the efforts of organizations like East Ave Lacrosse.
East Ave Lacrosse is an Oak Park-based travel lacrosse club that invites male and female student-athletes from Pre-K through High School to try out the sport in a welcoming, athlete-first environment. “We go out of our way to embrace multi-sport athletes and we are always supportive of skipping an occasional practice for homework or just taking some time off to be a kid,” according to the website.
As a way to generate continued interest with elementary-aged athletes, East Ave will be onsite at William Beye Elementary School this week (March 5-9) to teach kids the game, give away East Ave lacrosse swag, and make sure any kid who is interested in the sport has an opportunity to learn the game.
👨🏫💪🏃♂️🙌 #BeastAve is taking over gym classes @ William Beye all week long w/ free #EastAve gear, skills competitions, & clinics for almost 400 @Oakpark97 students!#GrowTheGame #Lacrosse #Lax #OakPark #WeHaveMoreFun #OneEastAve #Community #Outreach #Fun #InclusionMatters pic.twitter.com/Sm1375argK
— East Ave Lacrosse (@eastavelax) March 6, 2018
The club is organized by Directors Dan Applebaum, Joe Opron, and Jerry Considine, all three of whom spend time coaching lacrosse at Oak Park-River Forest and Fenwick High Schools. Their collective philosophy is to give student-athletes year-round access to the game by entering the teams into tournaments that are broken up by season. East Ave has more than doubled their enrollment in 2017 in an ongoing effort to grow the sport’s popularity in the OPRF communities.
Currently, East Ave is taking signups for the Park District’s Pre-K through 8th Grade teams for the spring session taking place from April 2 to May 26. Rental equipment is free for first-timers, and this is the most popular time that youth players get involved with the game. Registration can be done at pdop.org for Oak Park residents or rfparks.com for River Forest residents.
Even though the club has seen tremendous success with tournament championships at different age levels, they maintain that family is what is most important. “While we exceed the quality of programming and instruction that you would expect from a travel program, we will never overcharge you or overburden your family’s schedule,” according to the website.
If you have a child who is interested in lacrosse for the first time in his/her life, or if your family just moved to the area and have a laxer in the bunch, visit http://www.eastavelacrosse.com/ for more details on how to get involved.