Competition is addictive — and those who have felt the effects of coming to college without the thrill of playing sports have found opportunities to get back into action with the UND men’s lacrosse team.
The UND men’s lacrosse team is a club program established in 1980 that competes in the Great Lakes Lacrosse League’s West Division. The program has been growing rapidly, and this year it plans to have A and B teams.
Coach Johnny DeMay is excited about the growing numbers.
“This year’s team is the strongest I have ever seen at UND,” he said. “We are receiving the positive effects of Minnesota’s exponential growth in youth lacrosse. Along with Minnesotans, we are getting many players from the East and West Coast, where lacrosse is most prominent.”
Junior goalie Jake Wall said he enjoys his time playing on UND’s lacrosse team.
“I would say definitely join the team if you are looking to play lacrosse, make life-long friends and all around just have a great time,” he said.
The team is a club — so anyone can join — but prior experience is suggested, although there are a few members of the team who had never picked up a lacrosse stick until college.
“We do not have tryouts,” DeMay said. “It is my belief that the larger the team we have, the better. Our traveling roster normally sits around 30 players, while there are about 50 members of the club.”
The team participates in one fall ball tournament, box lacrosse league and the spring season. Practice is held Sundays at the Wellness Center at noon all year while the team meets Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays outdoors at the club fields when weather permits.
While it may only be a club team, North Dakota’s lacrosse players travel beyond the Grand Forks area.
“One unique thing about the team is that we play teams from all over the country, such as Michigan or Wisconsin,” Wall said.
The team travels about four weekends out of the year. Recently, the team has attended tournaments all over the Midwest, including the Twin Cities, Wisconsin Dells, Madison and more.
The Great Lakes Lacrosse League’s West Division competes against Michigan, Notre Dame, Marquette, Wisconsin, Holy Cross, La Crosse, Winona, Mankato, Concordia, Moorhead and others. Wall said he thinks this year will be a successful one for the team.
“I think the team will be one of the best in our league,” Wall said.
Despite a busy schedule, the team designates school as its main focus. The team’s website states, “We have talent, but as a team we realize that we are here for school and focus on that.”
“The best part about playing lacrosse at UND is representing both our school and our state in the sport we love,” DeMay said.
In addition to the club’s many perks, Wall said he feels the best part about bring a part of North Dakota’s lacrosse club team is the relationships.
“The greatest part about playing is the friendships and brotherhood that you make with the guys on the team,” he said.
Anyone interested in learning more about the club should email DeMay at [email protected]
Allison Moore is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]