National sport growing in Portage
Lacrosse is taking a foothold locally at the high school level.
After the Portage Collegiate Institute Trojans completed their first campaign this spring, the focus is skewing a little younger this summer, as the Junior Trojans are practicing at the PCU Centre this summer.
Sessions are generally run by PCI head coach Al Patterson, who was on holidays for Thursday's practice.
However, a cast of assistant coaches have helped to bring the game to youngsters.
Graham Shindle, one of the assistants, said approximately 17 children from Grades 1 through 4 have signed up, with 10-12 generally attending each session. This week has been a slower one, but since it's a fun camp to help get a grasp on the game, Shindle said it's not an issue if children can't attend all sessions.
"We just thought it would be fun to expose the kids to something like this," said Shindle. "As one of our national games, it's a nice fit for kids here in Portage."
Practices are Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the PCU Centre.
Shindle estimates 90 percent of the time has been dedicated to drills, with scrimmages taking up the rest of the time.
"We've got to work on cradling the ball, scooping it, passing it, shooting it," said Shindle. "That's where we've spent the vast majority of our time, getting them used to the ball and the stick and a little understanding about how to play — not so much rules, but just how skills that are used in the game."
Though the practices have just passed the halfway point, four remain. Those with children interested in giving the camp a try can contact Patterson at 857-9723 or Shindle at 871-5410.
For more, please see Friday's edition of the Portage Daily Graphic.