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New Plum organization gives local youth chance to play growing sport

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States.

According to USLa crosse, youth participation in the sport has grown more than 138 percent since 2001 to more than 300,000.

Lacrosse in the Pittsburgh region also has grown, with youth leagues and organizations established every year. The WPIAL and PIAA took over boys and girls lacrosse a couple of years ago, and now, 31 schools sponsor a girls high school team in the WPIAL, while the same can be said for 33 schools on the boys side.

The Moon, Gateway, Aquinas Academy and Mars boys teams begin play in the WPIAL this spring.

Seeing the growth in other communities in the area, as well as the growth at the high school level, a group of parents has worked together to bring lacrosse to the Plum area.

This spring, those plans become a reality, as Plum Borough Youth Lacrosse is born.

Dave Bauer, a member of the group that also includes organization president Chaz Casile and vice president Rege Beattie, said there was frustration over the fact that despite knowing there was interest for lacrosse in Plum, there wasn't an organization in Plum for youth to participate.

Bauer said youth who wanted to play lacrosse had to travel to the Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse program at Shady Side Academy.

The initial call for interest in the program, Bauer said, brought forth more than 100 youth expressing the desire to play and learn more about the game.

Formal registration was Tuesday, but, Bauer said, Plum Borough Youth Lacrosse doesn't want to turn anyone away, and registration online still can be done at plumlax.org.

More information about Plum Lacrosse can be found at the website or at facebook.com/plum lacrosse.

Bauer said the organization wants to get youths — both boys and girls — playing lacrosse at all levels from kindergarten on up with the goals of establishing teams from youth to high school.

He said the excitement is high for this spring, and sessions on the field hope to begin soon.

The dates and times for the sessions will depend, Bauer said, on the registration numbers.

Bauer said the organization is grateful to be able to use the Plum Borough fields along Ross Hollow Road.

He said the organization also is grateful for the help from Pittsburgh Youth Lacrosse in terms of what to do in establishing a program in Plum.

Other local organizations provided help and support, Bauer said, as they want to help the Plum program grow for the good of the sport overall.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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