Thursday, 30 May 2013 00:00
On March 30 for the first time in history a lacrosse game was played in Churchill County, Nevada thanks to the efforts of John Keitz, originally from Manhasset.
Keitz, a former Boston University lacrosse player and native of Manhasset, moved to Nevada a few years ago where he teaches at Lovelock Middle School. He soon discovered that nobody ever heard of lacrosse in Lovelock or in Fallon where he lives. In order for his two sons and several of their classmates to play lacrosse they had to drive 60 miles (each way) to Reno on Saturdays where they participated as part of a team in the High Sierra Youth Lacrosse League.
Keitz’s sons, Conor and Fearghus, attend Oasis Academy, a charter school in Fallon. It took four years of trying with the support of the Oasis administration to bring lacrosse to the school. Thanks to a grant from the First Stick Program which funded the equipment, they now have a team in the under 13 program and expect to start a program for under 15 year olds next year.
Curiosity quickly brought students from the baseball and soccer fields to the lacrosse field and Oasis fielded a team of 20 in that first game, which included students from other schools in the Churchill County School District.
Unfortunately, the Oasis Bighorns lost 8 to 4 to the Mount Rose Rattlers from south Reno but it was an interesting day. Remembering that hardly anyone in Fallon ever heard of lacrosse, the officials were great. They took time to explain their calls to the great crowd that showed-up and further explained the game during half time.
Unfortunately, the other five teams in the league are in Reno so, except for the home games, it’s still a 60 - mile roundtrip drive every Saturday.