CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – While the sport of lacrosse is still growing in the mountain state, finding club lacrosse programs to play on can be difficult without traveling to a nearby state.
A new club lacrosse program in West Virginia allows lacrosse players in the mountain state to play competitive lacrosse.
The development behind Mountain State Lacrosse came from parents and coaches having to travel far in order to play lacrosse on a club team. Not to mention, the high travel costs as well as costs to join a program.
Jay Rogers and Eric Shaw, two lacrosse-minds out of Fairmont, came together to form an executive board for the Mountain State Lacrosse Club. Shaw is the assistant coach of the Fairmont Senior boys lacrosse team. Rogers is the father of standout Fairmont Senior girls lacrosse player and recent state champion, Morgan Rogers.
A more local and affordable option came to be in Mountain State Lacrosse.
Mountain State lacrosse started with a girls program. The girls team, coached by Morgan Cain Comport, a former Fairmont Senior High School lacrosse player, has already found success in its short existence. Cain Comport also played collegiate lacrosse at Seton Hill University and now coaches there as well.
The Mountain State girls team won its first ever tournament, the Lax Bash Tournament, in Erie, Pennsylvania this past summer.
Cain-Comport decided to coach the Mountain State Lacrosse girls program to help girls players get noticed and provide them with opportunities.
“Coming from West Virginia, at the time back in 2009, it was just a fresh sport starting. There wasn’t a lot of publicity surrounding it. It was even difficult to get recruited coming out of West Virginia. One of my main reasons that I’ve given back and really started helping West Virginia kids is so they can have the opportunity to no only grow as lacrosse players but also grow as individuals ” Cain-Comport said.
With the forming success of the girls team, the boys team is starting up as well. Throughout the summer of 2021, the boys team has been getting together for practices and skill development.
Leading the Mountain State boys is Brian Houk. Houk currently is the head boys lacrosse coach at University High School as well as the head Men’s lacrosse coach at West Virginia University.
Also set to coach the boys team is Evan Merrill, who formerly coached Men’s Lacrosse at Davis and Elkins.
An experienced bunch of coaches throughout the girls and boys teams allows for plenty of knowledge of the game.
The sport is kind of still in its infancy in the state. There’s still a lot of room to grow in terms of development. I find a lot of satisfaction in helping move that along and giving kids the opportunity to play,” Houk said.
The boys team has not yet played in a tournament. But they look to build on the momentum they’ve created this summer into the Fall lacrosse club season.
Both Houk and Cain-Comport believe in growing the sport in the state of West Virginia and hope that players joining the Mountain State Lacrosse program can do that.
“I think that it will get people on the bandwagon to realize that lacrosse is a very fast paced, enjoyable sport. It will get the word out there. The girls love traveling together. It’s a team bonding weekend every time we go away to play. They’re able to bond on and off the field,” Cain-Comport said.
“I really believe in the positive impacts it [lacrosse] can have on a young person’s life. In lacrosse you can find success with any athletic trait that you have. Whether you’re big and strong, whether you’re small and fast, or anywhere in between, lacrosse is for everyone. All types of athletes can find their role,” Houk said.
Houk said his personal mission corresponds to the mission of the club.
“I firmly believe that my mission is to provide access to lacrosse for people of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, specifically in West Virginia, to create an athlete development pathway that’s local and affordable without having to go out of state,” Houk said.
Houk believes in the positive impacts that the Mountain State Lacrosse Club can bring to a player.
“At the end of the day I believe lacrosse is for everyone and we want to give kids a positive experience with that,” Houk said.
For more information about joining the Mountain State Lacrosse program, send an email to email@example.com. Both the boys and girls Fall seasons aim to start after Labor Day weekend.