Lacrosse leads locals to next level
MINOOKA — For the past couple of years, both boys and girls lacrosse have been emerging sports at Minooka Community High School. They became so big, in fact, that MCHS now fields its own full boys varsity team, something it hadn't done until the 2011 season.
With the move to varsity in 2011, it gave the junior class that year to experience two full seasons at the varsity level. Six of those players took advantage of that opportunity, cashing in on Division III scholarships to continue their lacrosse careers.
"It definitely helped us get out name out there," Erick House, who will be attending Benedictine University next year on a scholarship, said. "It was much tougher competition but it helped shed a light on Minooka. "
For the players, the chance to continue playing on at the college level is a dream come true.
"I was really excited when they contacted me," Nick Yielding, who will be attending Beloit (Wis.) college next year to continue playing, said. "I knew I wanted to continue playing at the next level so when I heard they were interested it was extra exciting."
Yielding was one of the key players that helped the Indians progress at the varsity level last year.
"The people there are great," Yielding said of Beloit. "Both the students and facility are very professional and very nice."
House isn't the only one attending Benedictine, as Gage Kuczaj and Erick Orondof will also be heading there to continue their college careers. Although it's only a D3 school, the chance to continue playing the game excites all three men, especially House.
"I felt out the school, and the fact that there is an all-freshman team there really excited me," House said. "Its going to give all of us a better chance to play."
The individual success of the players only helps get the sport even out there more to the underclassmen. The program expects to be over 100 players again next year on all levels combined, both boys and girls.
"It was exciting to see growth because it shows that people are interested playing in the sport," Yielding said. "It helps bring in more talented people and become more of a program."