Warwick PAL lacrosse has been a solid program in the past, but program director Erik Stachurski is looking to change that.
He wants it to be a great program.
Stachurski, who has served as a coach for PAL the last few seasons, is in his second year as director and is mapping out a plan to help the city reach its potential in the lacrosse world.
“Just get people visible to it,” Stachurski said. “It’s a great game. I’ve been lucky enough that Jack Paliotte of PAL gave me a very long leash to do what I can to grow it. I think we can be one of the premier organizations with a little bit of effort.”
Stachurski may be just the guy to get it done. He grew up in Maryland – a state known for its standout lacrosse – and he grew up playing the game.
He wants to bring a little of that passion to Warwick.
“PAL is a great organization, but I think what you have is that there aren’t a lot of lacrosse people,” Stachurski said. “It’s still a growing sport. I was lucky, I grew up in Maryland and while most people here get skates and a hockey stick, where I grew up you picked up a lacrosse stick.”
Stachurski has already helped to create a new logo for the league, revamp its web site and create a membership board for PAL lacrosse. Keeping with the movement, this Saturday Stachurski will host a registration for the upcoming season at the Warwick Mall.
He, as well as other board members, will be there from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and they’ll be joined by Brian Cole of the Boston Cannons, a Major League Lacrosse team.
The Cannons are supplying prizes for people who register, including autographed memorabilia from standout Cannons middie Paul Rabil and a few other players.
Second Time Around Sports will also join the registration and plans to host various equipment giveaways.
“We want to get people out, involved and excited,” Stachurski said. “I know it’s early, I know the season is not until March, but registration starts now. Let’s get people signed up, get it moving.”
There were about 90 kids involved in PAL lacrosse last season, and Stachurski hopes to double that number this year. While there were only four teams a season ago, there should be considerably more this season, including the “Little Patriots” – a Pre-K and kindergarten age program. Stachurski is also hoping to form more competitive teams as opposed to just recreation teams.
“Nobody is too young to put a lacrosse stick in their hands,” Stachurski said.
Those who join the Little Patriots program will receive a free fiddle stick, foam ball and jersey.
The thinking is that if players get started early in their lives rather than later, it will be good for the program, the city and the sport of lacrosse as a whole.
That would be the start of building something long-lasting. PAL has struggled over the past few years with losing some of its kids to the East Greenwich league, which has depleted its numbers.
As the long grows stronger, that’s another thing that Stachurski will try to change.
He wants Warwick to be right near the top.
“There is no more lacrosse knowledge [in EG] than there is anywhere else,” Stachurski said. “There’s a base, but they go, they train, they get certified and they build on that. There’s no reason we can’t do the same here.”