The rise of lacrosse in West Texas

The rise of lacrosse in West Texas
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 7:18 AM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Nicknamed the “the fastest game on two feet,” lacrosse challenges athletes both physically and mentally.

“Your reaction time has to be quick, your hand-eye coordination has to be quick, ground balls, catching the ball, shooting the ball,” said Joey Gabarda, the head coach at West Texas Lacrosse.

It is a sport that offers opportunity for athletes with many different strengths, and it is gaining momentum in West Texas.

No high schools in the Permian Basin currently offer lacrosse as a spring sport, so West Texas Lacrosse formed a new club team for high schoolers called the “Wildcatters.”

“As we grow the sport here in West Texas, we hope the high schools will eventually pick up their club sports,” Gabarda said.

The community is rallying around the club. Banaise Blake, the Vice President of Operations at Navigator Oil & Minerals said they wanted to sponsor the team to give kids the chance to play lacrosse in West Texas.

“If we’re going to get something like this going and give kids like mine an opportunity to play lacrosse, it’s got to be funded locally and that’s why we are happy to do it,” Blake said.

The coaches bring a high level of experience, all having played at the collegiate level. Gabarda said lacrosse can provide student athletes many opportunities past high school.

“It gives them the opportunity to get scholarships going into college. It’s an easy sport to pick up. Like I said, every university and every college wants it, they’re willing to give scholarships for it. If it weren’t for the sport, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I want to give these kids the opportunity I had in life and I want them to be successful,” said Gabarda.

The Wildcatters are in action on Saturday and Sunday for their big tournament at Scharbauer Sports Complex in Midland. You can find more information about West Texas Lacrosse here.

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