Lovejoy Lacrosse Teaches, Promotes and Honors the Game
(Varsity Head Coach Andrew Hodgson going over some last minute, pre-game strategy.)
Lovejoy Lacrosse began in 2009, when Bobbi Gilbert’s son, who had been playing Lacrosse in
Allen, said he would like to play with his home school in Lovejoy ISD. The first team was for 7 th
and 8 th graders. Since that time, when they started with 15 athletes, Lovejoy Lacrosse has grown
to 270 athletes. In the spring of 2016, the first Lovejoy Lacrosse girls’ team was formed.
Lovejoy Lacrosse board member, David Diaz, voiced appreciation for how supportive Lovejoy
ISD, the athletic department and the community have been of their club. He said they are able to
practice at Willow Springs Middle School and use the district name, team colors and mascot. He
pointed out that the athletes, who start playing lacrosse as kindergarteners, have the opportunity
to play a sport as Lovejoy Leopards from kindergarten through high school. Lovejoy Lacrosse
athletes receive off-campus P.E. credit.
Explaining who will enjoy playing Lacrosse, Diaz said, “It’s the ultimate team sport. Anybody
can play. There is a position for all body sizes. Everyone touches the ball. It is a fast paced
game.” He said that boys’ lacrosse is a combination of soccer, basketball and hockey and girls’
lacrosse combines soccer and basketball. Boys’ lacrosse includes physical contact, whereas girls’
lacrosse does not. The goal is to score goals by passing the ball in the air using the crosse (stick).
Players cannot touch the ball with their hands. There are goalies, defenders, midfielders and
attackers (offense). Boys play with 10 players on the field, girls with 12. There are 20 players on
a boys’ team and 24 players on a girls’ team. Boys and girls both play 40 minute games. Boys’
games are divided into quarters, girls games are divided into halves. Boys wear helmets,
shoulder and elbow pads and gloves. Girls wear goggles, helmets are optional.
A traditional lacrosse season lasts from January until May and includes 10-15 games a season.
Lovejoy Lacrosse plays year round. Diaz said the fall season, which goes from September until
November, is a great time for players new to the sport to give it a try as well as allowing
experienced players the opportunity to hone their skills. They play tournaments in the fall and a
few scrimmages. Lovejoy Lacrosse plays teams from Allen, McKinney, Prosper, Frisco,
Colleyville, Coppell, Flower Mound, Highland Park, Plano East and Rockwall.
All Lovejoy Lacrosse coaches played lacrosse in college. The head high school coach is
currently a major league player with the New York Lizards. His brother is the assistant coach
and their sister is the newly hired high school coach for the girls’ team. This is the first year there
will be a Lovejoy Lacrosse girls’ high school team.
Boys’ varsity head coach Andrew Hodgson explains why he started playing lacrosse, “It’s in my
blood. My father is a hall of fame coach in Long Island, New York. I have been playing my
entire life. I had a lacrosse stick in my hand before I could walk. And I really, really enjoy playing the game. Now, I love the fact that I can teach the game of lacrosse to the younger
generation at Lovejoy and teach them everything I know.”
Diaz and his family live in the Lovejoy community in Lucas. He became involved in Lovejoy
Lacrosse in 2012 when his son, after trying multiple sports, found his sport in lacrosse.
There are 14 Lovejoy Lacrosse teams. Registration is ongoing for the fall for all ages. The cost
per player is $200 - $350 per season for the youth teams, boys’ high school teams cost $1400 per
year and girls’ high school teams cost $700 per year. Girls interested in trying lacrosse can attend
a ‘Try It Clinic’ on Aug. 25 or Sept. 8 from 10:00 a.m. – noon at Willow Springs. Boys can
attend a practice to try out the sport. Go to Lovejoylacrosse.com for more information or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Lovejoy Lacrosse Club is a 501(c) (3) non-profit
Lovejoy Lacrosse plans to continue to grow the club and hopefully one day watch lacrosse
become a UIL sport.