Greensburg Central Catholic lacrosse helping grow the game
Two of the top lacrosse programs in Western Pennsylvania will showcase their talents in an exhibition to grow the sport in the Laurel Highlands region on Saturday.
Greensburg Central Catholic, a team that's won six of the past seven section championships, will face Seneca Valley, a team that reached the state championship in 2010, in the first high school lacrosse game ever played in the Laurel Highlands at Somerset Area High School Stadium at 2 p.m.
Event organization Jeff Fyock has a unique fascination with the sport and has taken a keen interest in its evolution from the time that the North American Indians were believed to have discovered the game. Fyock's ultimate goal is to bring awareness and excitement to an area that hasn't been exposed to its popularity.
"I truly believe that once people see it, they are going to be absolutely enamored with it," he said. "Everyone is involved in a lacrosse game and interacting as opposed to one move at a time. People fall in love with it."
When the idea of putting together an event to help grow the sport came about, Fyock said it was an easy decision to pick the exhibition's participants. Seneca Valley's program was established in 2001 while Greensburg Central Catholic started in 2004, and both organizations have risen to the top of the WPIAL.
"Seneca Valley has been a big contributor to the lacrosse community from hosting tournaments to having many members help promote it," Fyock said. "Greensburg C.C. coach Mike Evans is somebody else who does a lot more than just work between the lines of coaching. He's very committed to help see it grow. "
Seneca Valley head coach Peet Poillona - a professional lacrosse player for the Denver Outlaws - is excited to not only see where his team stacks up against another championship-caliber opponent, but also spread the passion he feels for a sport that's played a large role in his life.
"We're excited about it. I think lacrosse is at a place as it's the fastest growing in country for a reason," Poillon said. "It'll be fun to hopefully spark interest in the area and grow the game. For our guys, it's a cool opportunity to play in a different area and play against a different team and spread the game."
Preceding the Seneca Valley and Greensburg Central Catholic matchup, two youth games will take place. The Westmoreland Lacrosse Club will play Seneca Valley in a fifth- and sixth-grade game) at 10 a.m. and again at 11:30 a.m. for the seventh and eighth graders.
"The reason we have the younger kids is to show it's for people all ages," Fyock said. "A lot of places in Western PA have kids starting in first grade. It's not just for the big guys moving fast, it's for the little guys, too."