The country’s fastest growing sport has quickly developed roots here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
A new sport has arrived in South Mississippi: Lacrosse. Although it is the oldest organized sport in the country, having first been played by Native Americans over 400 years ago, the Mississippi Scholastic Lacrosse Association was officially formed just last month. Greyhounds Lacrosse Coach Brian May said, “The fact that we have a Mississippi league now just shows the growth, of– this is the fastest growing sport in North America. I mean, it really is. You’ve got 600 colleges, universities playing it. Over 2,000 high schools playing the sport.”
For senior defenseman Kayleb Ramos, he had been hooked on lacrosse ever since his friend suggested he try out. “Sophomore year my friend handed me some gear. Handed me a helmet. Gave me a stick and I was ready to go. So, after that I kinda just kept pursuing it and it got better and better for me and I enjoyed it ever since.”
South Mississippi is home to high school age lacrosse teams at St. Stanislaus High, Southern Elite, and Greyhounds Lacrosse. Prior to MSLA’s formation, these teams had to play in Louisiana. “I remember the Saturday mornings, driving all the way across state and just waking up so early just for a game. And like yes, I was excited for the game, but like going an hour, hour-and-a-half just for it was a little much of a hassle.”
For those who may not know what lacrosse is or looks like, this is how members of the Ocean Springs Greyhounds lacrosse team would describe it. Senior midfielder Coleton Knowles said, “It’s honestly one of the hardest sports to actually understand. Like, you have to be on the field or a coach to actually understand the game, but once you get into it– I mean it’s just a lot of running and a lot of hand-eye coordination.”
“It’s basically like soccer and hockey kind of mixed into two, but then also with a stick and ball in the air more, in the sense of on the ground in hockey.”
The Greyhound is a community team and any high schooler on the Gulf Coast that is interested in picking up a stick and giving lacrosse a try is welcome to sign up for Greyhound Lacrosse by going to greyhoundslax.com. Registration for the 2021 season closes December 1st.