Baseball is always thought of as America’s pastime. But something that many people may not realize is that there is a sport that has been overlooked and has grown prominent among Americans today. No, I’m not talking about football or basketball. I’m talking about the great sport of lacrosse. A sport that started long before the time of baseball, football, or basketball. A sport that was invented by the Native inhabitants of America that were kicked off their land by the British. A simple game involving a wooden stick with a net and a ball. Lacrosse may not be the most important game to Americans today, but is one that should be on their radar.
College lacrosse is an exciting example of how much lacrosse has grown into a national interest. While surprising to many, the first Division 1 Men’s Lacrosse National Championship was played in 1971 between Cornell and Maryland and have continued ever since.
Lacrosse at the collegiate level has always been dominated by east coast universities with the usual suspects being Duke, Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Cornell. The 2015 National Championship was played just last weekend on Memorial Day and this day was one of historic proportions. This year’s final turned the compass West and featured a usual lacrosse powerhouse in Maryland and a lesser known rising star in Denver. The Denver Pioneers lacrosse program has been around for some time now and has become better and better every year. Before we knew it, Denver was an annual playoff participant and were right on the cusp on getting over the National Championship hump.After years of fighting for championship glory, Denver came out victorious over Maryland in 2015.The Pioneer victory made Denver the first National Champion that was not located on the east coast. Wow. A truly historic moment for the sport of lacrosse and one that has definitely raised some eyebrows.
The Denver victory comes at a time where lacrosse has reached its absolute peak and it only continues to peak even higher. Participation in youth and high school lacrosse has been the most in the history of the sport. This growth includes locations west of the Atlantic Ocean bordering states, which makes for a major lacrosse prominence in the United States.
Lacrosse is only going to get more and more popular as time goes on and mark my words, lacrosse will be one of the most popular, if not the most popular, sports in the United States of America and beyond.