School adds new spring team

November 18, 2008 — by Ben Clement

Saratoga High has finally added lacrosse to its spring sports roster, five years after the creation of the highly successful West Valley Redhawks Lacrosse club.

The process started around this time last year when several members of the Redhawks management, as well as Wes Koenig, a lacrosse supporter responsible for the lacrosse programs in Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz, approached former athletic director Ian McKenzie and assistant prinicipal Joe Bosco.

“[McKenzie] was very familiar with lacrosse having grown up in Canada,” said Kathy Waite, a Redhawk parent and big supporter of Saratoga’s lacrosse program. “He thought having a lacrosse team at Saratoga was an excellent idea.”

Waite came into the picture after McKenzie announced that he would be leaving last year.

“When Mr. McKenzie left, myself, as well as some other lacrosse parents wanted to make sure that his efforts did not go to waste,” said Waite.

The parents arranged to meet with principal Jeff Anderson and Bosco to press their concerns.

“Right now, the Santa Clara Valley Athletics League (SCVAL) is the only league without multiple lacrosse teams. In fact, Saratoga will be only the second school in the league to field a lacrosse team,” said Waite.

After meeting with the administration, Waite said that Bosco and Anderson had four primary concerns, including field space, funding, competition and participation.

The field issue was solved quickly, said Waite, and the Sports Boosters will help fund the team.

The issue of which schools the Saratoga team will play against has been fixed as well, according to new athletic director Peter Jordan, who has arranged for Saratoga to compete in the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL). According to the PAL website, the league contains the 17 public schools in San Mateo county as well as 14 other “supplemental” public and private schools, including Los Gatos High and Bellarmine College Prep.

The last issue that remains is that of players.

“After reviewing last years roster for the Redhawks JV and varsity teams, I have estimated that we will be able to field about half a team with Redhawks players,” said Waite. “For the other half, the team will rely on kids who have either tried the sport or have interest in doing so.”

Numerous Saratoga High students have expressed interest so far.

“I’m happy Saratoga finally got a school team,” said Redhawks star mid-fielder Andrew Lee. “I’m definitely signing up.”
Waite also mentioned that the administration is considering promoting lacrosse as a spring sport option for football players, seeing as it utilizes many of the same skills.

The school is also encouraging girls to come to tryouts, even though the team will be competing in a men’s lacrosse league.
“I don’t know what kind of interest we will have among the girls, but we’re encouraging them to come to tryouts,” said Jordan. “If there is enough interest, there’s a chance that we’ll be able to start a girls team as well.”