Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dallas Baptist Lacrosse Set to Launch


The Dallas Baptist Patriots men's lacrosse era begins Jan. 30 (photo / DBU)
 by Boxer Journal, Jan. 16, 2015
Dallas, TX - The Dallas Baptist University (DBU) Patriots athletic program grabbed national headlines in recent years during an extended run in the NCAA Division I College Baseball postseason. 

This year, the University is making a club sports addition that, with time, could again draw national attention to the southwest Dallas university of some 5,500 students.

The city is rapidly proving a lacrosse hotbed in a state where the sport is growing exponentially. Episcopal School of Dallas currently produces top Division I prospects annually. Should some of those prospects choose local lacrosse options like Dallas Baptist and Southern Methodist (13-2 in 2014), Dallas-area collegiate teams will quickly rival the best MCLA teams in the state and beyond.

The university, founded in 1898, made the decision in 2013 to launch the program this spring. They will be members of the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) and competing at the Division II level in the 27-team Lone Star Alliance (LSA). The MCLA is a unique, lacrosse-only, governing body of some 200 teams across the country. Many of its top teams look much more akin to varsity caliber-programs rather than traditional club teams.

Of the 27 teams in the LSA, 11 others will compete at the Division II level along with DBU. Dallas Baptist will be stepping onto the campus's  Patriot Field for its first MCLA game ever at home on January 30 against the University of Texas - Dallas. 

The Patriots celebrate a practice in the books (Photo / DBU)
Following the UT-Dallas game they'll play the University of Houston on January 31. The Patriots' 2015 roster is made up of 20 players. They'll be coached by Massachusetts native Joe Richardson and the program will be fully funded by the University.

With the addition of the men's lacrosse team, Dallas Baptist now has 15 NCAA programs, and seven club sports teams. 

When asked what prompted the addition of the men's lacrosse team, Associate Athletic Director Tyler Knox responded, "I would say the popularity of the sport in the Dallas area first spurred our administration to begin researching the sport." 

He added,"With the recent success of adding men's club ice hockey...we had the University backing and sport addition layout to find success with lacrosse."

The long-successful Canadian model of leveraging the hockey/lacrosse connection has made its way to Texas.


(Photo / DBU)

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