Lacrosse in schools!
Empire began conducting PE clinics in the fall of 2014. Coaches from both Edge and Empire spent days with Coach Honeycutt teaching Glen Arden Elementary school children about the game of lacrosse, conducting fun drills on scooping and shooting. This tradition continued for several years, and clinics were also conducted at Valley Springs Middle School.
Shortly after, meetings were held at Buncombe County Schools offices to discuss with the administration the growth of lacrosse here in Asheville and the hopes we all have of seeing lacrosse in our area public schools, so that all kids have free access to this amazing game. Under their direction, Empire and Edge put on five weeks of lacrosse clinics at Cane Creek Middle School to promote the game and see the interest. There were many students who participated, but at that point local high school AD’s were not interested in jumping in.
In 2018, through booster clubs and many late nights from dedicated parents and coaches, lacrosse was implemented into the Public School system. Initially, the agreement stated that the booster clubs would fund the programs for the first 4 years to ensure the interest and participation was there. TC Roberson and Asheville High School were the first schools to participate and compete through those first 4 years. After enduring the challenges of this new sport in the school system, a global pandemic and slashing sports budgets, lacrosse remains. In 2022, both Administrations for TC Roberson and Asheville High School voted to have the sport of lacrosse be full supported and funded by the School itself going forward. The hope is that the same progress be made in other local public schools to ensure the future of lacrosse in the Mountains.
During the fall of 2017, 54 Buncombe County PE teachers were trained by USA Lacrosse on how to teach lacrosse in their curriculum. Four soft stick scholarships were awarded, and those coaches went back to their schools with all they needed to teach their students lacrosse. Coach Rachel Hillhouse, Director of then Edge Lacrosse, was a certified USA Lacrosse trainer and was instrumental in achieving this day of education for local coaches. Coach Rachel's efforts proved to be a strong foundation laid to ensure strong participation moving forward for our high schools in the future.