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I recently came across an article about Drew Snider, one of the most talented lacrosse players to come out of Seattle. A two-time prep All-American, a key player in two Maryland runs at a national championship and a current finalist for a spot on the US men’s national team, he’s got quite an impressive track record.
However, Snider has admitted that he almost didn’t make it through his first year of lacrosse at Maryland. While he could play the game naturally, he didn’t understand any of the terms, and as a result his lacrosse IQ was very low. This is one of the main reasons that Snider has taken a head-coaching position of the O’Dea lacrosse program in its first year of existence. Snider wants to give young lacrosse players the opportunities that he never had growing up. O’Dea’s program is one of 14 new teams that has joined the varsity level in Washington in the past two years; there are now a total of 93 squads in the state. In the past fifteen years or so, lacrosse has exploded in popularity. Previously restricted to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, it’s been gaining quite a following in the west. While the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association hasn’t officially sanctioned lacrosse yet, O’Dea is one of the few schools to name its lacrosse team a varsity-level sport, instead of just a club.
Back when Snider was in high school, O’Dea had flirted with adding lacrosse to their sports, and really started considering it about three years ago. O’Dea wanted to offer the sport before last season, but several things didn’t work out. Now, however, they have opportunities for kids to play this rapidly growing sport. The number of participants at O’Dea is rising, and Snider also created City Side LAX, a program aimed to teach kids the fundamentals of lacrosse. The idea is to instill an understanding of the game, so that kids’ lacrosse IQs are higher. Back when he was a kid, Snider used to walk around with his lacrosse stick and people had no idea what it was. Now, however, you can drive around the Seattle area and see kids playing lacrosse at fields.