A club lacrosse team lands at Osceola Fundamental High School in Pinellas County

Sports

It is a sport that is gaining speed across the country and it is finally charging into schools in Pinellas County. The district sanctioned four high school lacrosse teams this year but, if you do not go to one of those high schools, you cannot play on the team. How can you participate in the sport?

News Channel 8 Sports’ Gabrielle Shirley found the answer sprawled across a field and written on the faces of a club team at Osceola Fundamental High School.

You can see it in the eyes of these players. It is a rare intensity sparked by a switch in the system. 

“We were all bummed out about it,” says a sophomore lacrosse player, Tyler Secor. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play.”

A neighbor introduced Tyler to lacrosse about eight years ago.

“It is a mixture of pretty much all sports,” he tells us. “It is fun to hit people. I am a lot bigger than the majority of kids out here.”

His father remembers watching Tyler fall in love with the game of lacrosse. 

“Tyler spent time on YouTube learning about it all by himself,” says Dustin Secor, “because I did not know anything about it and he just basically self-taught himself.”

Tyler successfully shared his passion for the sport with his parents and his younger brother. Now, they are a part of the driving force behind this opportunity.

Dustin is the head coach of the new club team at Osceola Fundamental High School. 

“I had no idea that it was going to be this big of a commitment,” admits Dustin, “but I made the commitment to my boys and to the other boys in the program that we would have a place to play this year.”

Dustin, his wife, and a group of other parents put in the hours and the effort working tirelessly to give these athletes a chance to play lacrosse. 

“I have had an interest in it for maybe two years,” says Chris Everhart, a freshman on the club team, “but I never made the move to play so I decided this year, since there was a new team, I would step forward and play.”

The talent levels are mixed. 

“We looked like absolute bad news bears out there on the field when we very first started,” says Dustin with a laugh, “the balls were flying everywhere.”

“A lot of the kids do not have experience in footwork and stick skills,” Ryan Sampey, a senior on the club team, tells us, “so teaching them has been quite a challenge.”

It is a challenge the team is prepared to face because they know they are changing the fate of the sport in Pinellas County. You can see it in their eyes. 

“I love the fact that it is centered around me and this team that I am playing on,” says Tyler, “and it is just one big stepping stone to hopefully putting lacrosse into the entire county at all schools.”

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