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Assisting the team: lacrosse booster program switches sponsorship

Jimmy+Vaselopulos%2C+senior%2C+defends+against+an+opposing+player+during+a+game.+The+LZHS+Lacrosse+Booster+Club+provides+Vaselopulos+and+other+players+with+more+in-game+experiences+by+helping+pay+for+tournaments+and+matches.
Jimmy Vaselopulos, senior, defends against an opposing player during a game. The LZHS Lacrosse Booster Club provides Vaselopulos and other players with more in-game experiences by helping pay for tournaments and matches.

Jimmy Vaselopulos, senior, defends against an opposing player during a game. The LZHS Lacrosse Booster Club provides Vaselopulos and other players with more in-game experiences by helping pay for tournaments and matches.

Photo used with permission of Jimmy Vaselopulos

Photo used with permission of Jimmy Vaselopulos

Jimmy Vaselopulos, senior, defends against an opposing player during a game. The LZHS Lacrosse Booster Club provides Vaselopulos and other players with more in-game experiences by helping pay for tournaments and matches.

Adam Cupples, Sports Editor

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The Lacrosse Booster Club has recently made a transition from a lacrosse club program to a school sponsored program, allowing them to focus solely on the high school team.

When lacrosse was picked up as an official LZHS sport two years ago, the Lake Zurich lacrosse community program split up, leading to the formation of the LZHS Lacrosse Booster Club, Greg Giroux, president, says.

“When Lake Zurich Lacrosse was started in 2002, it was not a high school sponsored sport like football or baseball,” Giroux said. “[The kids] had to go to a club and play. In 2016, District 95 and the Lake Zurich Lacrosse Club agreed to take on lacrosse as a high school sport, a year ahead of lacrosse becoming an IHSA sanctioned sport. So [the booster club] separated from Lake Zurich Lacrosse and became the Lake Zurich High School Lacrosse Booster Club, which means we are now a separate entity from them. [The booster club]’s function is to support the players in the offseason along with in season as well.”

The ability of the booster club to support the high school players year-long is crucial to the players’ and the team’s success, Jimmy Vaselopulos, senior lacrosse player, says.

“Without the booster club we wouldn’t have valuable offseason practices and clinics as well as the equipment that we need to succeed year-round,” Vaselopulos said. “Overall the booster club allows us to always become better as a team by giving us the proper resources and coaching to do so.”

One of the ways that the booster club has been assisting the lacrosse team is by providing the players a place indoors to practice and improve their skills when the weather worsens, Giroux says.

“In order for the lacrosse players to keep training year-round, they have to move indoors,” Giroux said. “Around here, indoors space can be limited and unfortunately, Kits just recently shut down. So [the booster club] has been actively searching elsewhere for locations to play in. Our main goal is to keep the lacrosse stick in the players’ hands no matter what season it is.”

Their ability to continue their support for the high school team is Vaselopulos’ wish for the booster club.

“For the most part the booster club has done an excellent job at providing us what we need to practice and grow as a team,” Vaselopulos said. “The only thing I would hope for is to continue to receive the off-season coaching we’ve been getting, as well as indoor facilities when the weather doesn’t allow us to practice outside.”

Along with helping the players hone in on their field skills, the booster club also celebrates the positive qualities that certain players exhibit off the field as well.

“For those individuals that have taken an interest in lacrosse, the booster club can foster this passion by organizing practices & tournaments in the off-season and provide financial support for players to participate,” Giroux said. “At the end of the season, the booster club awards $500 scholarships to a senior girl and boy who exhibits leadership and sportsmanship qualities along with providing gifts at the end of the season banquet to all senior players for their hard work and effort.”

The booster club’s support for all aspects of the team’s and players’ success makes playing lacrosse for the high school worth it, Vaselopulos says.

“It’s one thing to be part of a team, but it’s even better if you’re part of a community who contributes to the team’s success,” Vaselopulos said. “It’s so great to have many parents and external coaches help us grow and progress as a team in our efforts to win another championship.”

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