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‘Big success’ for Downers Grove lacrosse

Published: Friday, May 9, 2014 3:03 p.m. CDT
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(Lorae Mundt for Shaw Media)
Players from the Downers Grove Machine and Tinley Park Bulldogs, which are both U9 teams with New Wave Lacrosse, play at Downers Grove South on Saturday. The squads played at halftime of the high school varsity game between the Downers Grove co-op and York.
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(Lorae Mundt for Shaw Media)
Downers Grove midfielder Justin Long attempts to block York's Jack Hayes during Saturday's game at Downers Grove South.
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(Lorae Mundt for Shaw Media)
Players from New Wave Lacrosse's U9 Downers Grove Machine chat during Saturday's game against the Tinley Park Bulldogs.
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(Lorae Mundt for Shaw Media)
Downers Grove midfielder Alex Grganto (left) checks York attacker Lucas Craggs during Saturday's game.
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(Lorae Mundt for Shaw Media)
The Downers Grove varsity lacrosse team huddles during Saturday's game against York.

DOWNERS GROVE – Saturday was a big day for the Downers Grove lacrosse community.

The high school co-op boys lacrosse team, which is based out of Downers Grove South, is in its first year as an official school sport, and the team hosted a youth day to celebrate the younger players in the community. Youth players from the New Wave program took the field at halftime of the game between Downers Grove and York.

“The day was a big success,” said Mike McAleer, one of four coaches in the co-op program, who is in his seventh season as a coach in Downers Grove. “We had a good turnout with the youth players and we had raffles and gave out prizes.”

The current co-op team grew out of the old North-South Lacrosse Club, which had players from Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South and Hinsdale South and played its games at a field in Burr Ridge, according to McAleer. The team now is a co-op with DGN and DGS and the team plays its home games at South.

McAleer said he hopes lacrosse continues to grow in the community in the coming years to the point where the co-op can add a freshman team to the sophomore, JV and varsity. Eventually, he hopes North and South can split off to form their own teams. Considering where the squad was when it first started out, the current state of affairs is a big improvement.

“We’re grateful to be part of the school and play in the stadium,” McAleer said. “The school has been very good to us, and we just want to grow and get better.”

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