By Gary Lloyd
Jamey Curlee believes he has created a monster.
Curlee set up a booth when school started in August, with a sign that simply read “Lacrosse Signups.” Curlee, a Hewitt-Trussville High School teacher who has coached nearly every sport at the school, expected maybe five boys to sign up.
But 32 boys signed up, as well as 12 girls.
Last month, there were 72 high school boys and 17 or 18 girls who had signed up to play the club sport, which is not sanctioned by the Alabama High School Athletic Association. Yet. Curlee believes that will happen in the next few years.
The Trussville City Board of Education on Monday approved the Hewitt-Trussville High School Lacrosse Club, a move school officials believe puts the high school out in front of the likely future approval as an AHSAA-sanctioned sport.
“We’re excited,” Curlee said.
Hewitt-Trussville High School will play in the Greater Birmingham Youth Lacrosse Association, competing beginning in February in the association’s Division II, which includes teams from Homewood, Altamont, Briarwood, Magic City, Prattville, Auburn and Huntsville. Division I includes more experienced lacrosse teams, such as Hoover, Spain Park, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills.
Curlee will coach the Hewitt-Trussville varsity boys, and his wife will coach the girls. Curlee has stepped away from being the varsity girls golf coach to coach lacrosse. Leah Burke fills that position for the 2014 season.
Curlee said the interest in lacrosse is strong. On Sunday, 36 boys and 16 girls showed up at The Mall to practice, something Curlee deemed a “wonderful surprise.” Curlee said practices could take place on the high school’s band field or at the Trussville Sports Complex’s youth football field. Games could be played on that football field or at Jack Wood Stadium.
Boys’ lacrosse will be 10-on-10 with contact rivaling that of football, and girls’ lacrosse is a no-contact, 12-on-12 sport, Curlee said.
Curlee said Trussville Lacrosse started two years ago with U11 and U13 teams. There weren’t enough players for a U15 team last year, so his sons — who enjoy lacrosse — had to play in Mountain Brook. Curlee said he is glad that Trussville can now offer the sport that is rising in popularity.
“It’s exciting to be a part of it and ride this wave,” he said.
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