Dear Friends of Lacrosse,
The board of directors of SRQLAX, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to promote the growth and development of high school varsity lacrosse in Sarasota County public schools, would like to offer you a unique opportunity to make a lasting difference in the lives of Sarasota student athletes as we work to bring varsity lacrosse to Sarasota High School.
If you are not already familiar with the sport of lacrosse, you will be very soon. Often referred to as “America’s oldest sport,” it has now surpassed all other sports to become the nation’s fastest growing team sport. Over the past 15 years, lacrosse participation has increased over 225 percent, with a record-setting 825,000 players on organized teams in 2016. Since 2011, sponsored high school programs have increased 27 percent, NCAA programs 33 percent, and in the last 3 years alone, over 115 programs have been added at the NCAA or NAIA level. According to NCAA research, high school lacrosse players have a better chance of playing at the college level than virtually any other team sport. The opportunity for high school athletes to compete in lacrosse and to take their sport to the collegiate level, with all the associated admissions and scholarship possibilities that entails, has never been better.
As of 2018, over 200 high schools in Florida now offer FHSAA boys’ and girls’ varsity lacrosse, up 38% since 2013. Nevertheless, until recently, not a single Sarasota County public high school sponsored a lacrosse program. High school lacrosse programs were available to only a select group of local youths through private schools and cost-prohibitive club teams. Despite exponential growth in the sport around the nation and in the state of Florida, many of our children were being left behind.
In response to this need, SRQLAX was founded in 2013 to help transition lacrosse into a Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) sanctioned varsity sport in Sarasota County public high schools. With the support of the Sarasota County School Board, we have been authorized to establish programs in our public high schools; approved on a case-by-case basis, and always with the stipulation that we fully fund each program for the first three years at a cost of approximately $100,000 per school. We established a varsity lacrosse program at Riverview High School in 2016, added junior varsity in 2017 and have just completed raising funds for Venice High School as they completed their 2018 inaugural season.
Our first steps have met with great success as the Sarasota County public schools embrace the sport of lacrosse. But this is just the beginning. The ongoing work of SRQLAX is to bring lacrosse to all Sarasota County public high schools. We are proud to announce that we are currently working to bring boys’ and girls’ varsity lacrosse to Sarasota High School in Spring 2019. Once again, we must raise all the necessary funds to make this a reality. To bring this sport to the student athletes of Sarasota High School, we need your help.
With sincere appreciation,
SRQLAX Board of Directors