“We’re really excited to just be out here and for what’s to come,” said Matt Knott, head of the lacrosse club. Knott restarted the club a couple of years ago when he transferred to UNCG as a sophomore. Kitted out in a smart UNCG Lacrosse shirt, Knott explained how the club came to be, where it is currently and what’s in store for the future of the game at UNCG.
Originally founded in 2000, the club lacrosse team at UNCG has had a reputation for being an exciting and involving club on campus. In 2012, the club president suddenly left, causing the club to fold. That’s where Knott stepped in.
“I basically showed up on campus and saw that people had school spirit for soccer and basketball, but I also wanted that for lacrosse,” Knott said. This led Knott to re-found the club and to start attracting other lacrosse players to the team. The club now attracts 15-20 players at the regularly scheduled practices, which are held from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday.
When asked about who the typical UNCG lacrosse player might be, Knott emphasized the diversity of the team as it stands. Everyone from those who played lacrosse in high school to first-time players are present on the team, with new players encouraged to join the club to get involved with the sport. The club actively recruits members throughout both the fall and spring semesters.
The team can be seen tabling in the cafeteria, at both the fall and spring kickoffs, and recruiting those around campus sporting lacrosse gear from high school. For those interested in joining, the club dues are far lower than other club lacrosse teams across the state. “Our club dues run $300 for the entire year, which is a lot less than the $850 plus seen at other schools,” said Knott. The team does not depend on the Student Government Association (SGA) for funds, and fundraising is typically done by doughnut fundraisers, letter drives and the aforementioned club dues. With these dues, players are granted access to gear and to items like custom shirts and other apparel items, as well as referees for games and travel expenses.
While the focus of the sport is in the spring season, club lacrosse begins in the fall, with two to three games being played against other collegiate club teams over the course of the semester. Play begins in earnest in the spring, with anywhere from six to eight games being played. These games are typically played on the weekends, and the team will play both home and away games. Home games attract plenty of attention on campus.
In terms of where the team is going in the future, another club leader, Brett Johnson, noted that the club is making moves to re-establish itself at the level it was pre-2012. According to Johnson, this will entail attracting more members to achieve the 30-plus players that were on the team in the club’s heyday. “As well as getting more players, we’re trying to get into some local conference competition in the next few years,” said Johnson. Associated with this conference play is the national sanctioning body for men’s collegiate club lacrosse, the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA).
Both Johnson and Knott noted that the team is undergoing a phase of significant growth. They soon hope to build the club up to its former level of prominence. Knott mentioned that next year the team is considering hiring a coach to take their skills and fitness to the next level. Their goal is that this, coupled with the increased level of competition associated with conference play and the club leaders hope, will spur greater involvement and interest in the club and lead to even further growth. Knott stated, “We’re just really excited for where we’re at as a club and for where we’re going.” Those interested in the club are encouraged to check out the team’s Campus Activities Board website and Facebook page.