Georgia Tropics, an independent troupe, practices at PCHS
Pierce County now has its own lacrosse team.
Georgia Tropics, an independent lacrosse team, was organized recently and is currently practicing at Pierce County High School.
While it is not affiliated with the high school sports program, a student led effort has laid the groundwork for an inaugural team for the sport at PCHS.
Characterized as “a fast paced sport”, the game of lacrosse is a combination of basketball, soccer and hockey. Anyone of any skill level and size can play lacrosse — whether big or small. Lacrosse is played with a stick, the crosse, which must be mastered by the player to throw, catch and scoop the ball. Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing team sports in the United States.
PCHS student Patrick DeMember led the efforts to organize the team.
“I am excited to help form the first lacrosse team in Pierce County,” DeMember said. “I can’t wait to see the team and the program develop.”
The team currently has seven members including DeMember, Blake Brantley, Cole Brantley, Chase LeFevre, Jad Lynn, Herbert Perritt and Connor Rye. Dan Bullard is the coach of the new group. The team selected Georgia Tropics as their name.
Efforts are currently underway to form a 501c3 organization to raise funds for the team.
A Facebook page has been developed to generate interest and to solicit funds and equipment for the Georgia Tropics.
Ben Bishop, a native of Marietta and a former lacrosse player, has also volunteered his time to help organize, raise funds and secure equipment for the Georgia Tropics.
Bishop is married to Mary Stewart, a Pierce County native.
Bishop relates one post secured more than $5,000 in donations from friends and former teammates out of the Roswell and Marietta area.
“We have had tremendous response and many people have reached out to help,” Bishop said.
Brian Wallace of LB3- Thunder Lacrosse has helped tremendously. Wallace is the Director of Lacrosse for Roswell High School as well as the founder of LB3 lacrosse. Brian Wallace donated over $2,000 in sticks. The Gantt family, and the Saulinskas family donated large amounts of gear and Lori Martin out of Marietta Georgia donated a goal.
“Our goal for now is just to get the program started and let the players get a stick in their hands,” said Bishop.
He says the initial launch of the team will teach fundamentals and conduct practice drills to introduce the game as well as help grow the team to where they will have enough players to play other rec. organizations.
“We want to teach the fundamentals and do conditioning drills to get ready for a scrimmage game,” Bishop said.
Internal scrimmages featuring 5-on-5 or 7-on-7 are currently the team’s goal for this year.
Bishop said plans call for the eventual creation of a competition league featuring middle school and high school teams.
He says he is excited to be a part of introducing lacrosse to Pierce County.
“It is awesome,” he said. “For these guys to have never seen the game in person or had a history in it, the level of passion is amazing. I can’t wait to see it develop.”