Council must pass budget before program finalized
Next year, the county will expand its lacrosse program to the junior varsity level at all MCPS high schools, creating new teams specifically for both male and female underclassmen.
The new initiative will bring more students into the lacrosse program at an earlier age, and greater numbers of more experienced players will strengthen the program as a whole, said girls' lacrosse coach Mike Horne. "I think any time we have more kids involved in a positive program with the school, it's a good thing," Horne said. "Eventually it'll make us more competitive on the state level."
Other counties in Maryland have much more established lacrosse programs — students often begin playing as early as middle school. MCPS players generally take up the sport later than students around the state, putting the MCPS program at a disadvantage in statewide competitions.
Allowing underclassmen to play on JV teams will also give students new to the sport increased playing time, meaning more time for them to hone their skills, according to senior Robert Ginsberg, the boys' lacrosse co-captain. "It's a long time coming — we should have [expanded the program] earlier, because now we only have one team, and underclassmen don't really get to play," he said. "Practice makes perfect, so creating a JV team will give [underclassmen] the opportunity to develop and become better players."
The budget proposed by the Board of Education includes $291,000 to establish the league, according to MCPS Budget Director Marshall Spatz. County Executive Ike Leggett has proposed $20 million in cuts to the MCPS budget, but did not suggest removing JV lacrosse. "He did not include any cuts for JV lacrosse," Spatz said. "But he did suggest that the program be phased in so that only some schools will have JV lacrosse next year."
The budget must still be approved by the County Council, and the Council has the final decision over whether to include JV lacrosse in the budget.
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