October 26, 2010

Alma (Mich.) College to Add M&W Lacrosse

from press release

ALMA, Mich. - Alma College will sponsor varsity men's and women's lacrosse beginning in the 2011-12 academic year, increasing the College's number of intercollegiate sponsored sports from 18 to 20. "Lacrosse is a growing sport both in terms of participation and popularity in Michigan and the Midwest," says John Leister, Alma College athletic director. "Many high schools have added lacrosse to their sports programs, yet opportunities to compete beyond high school are limited.

"At Alma, more than one-third of our students typically participate in intercollegiate athletics, and as many as 50 percent of all new students consider playing a sport," says Leister. "Adding lacrosse provides an opportunity for students who enjoy lacrosse to maximize their college experience at Alma."

National searches for men's and women's lacrosse coaches will begin immediately. Competition will start in spring 2012, with matches to be played at the 3,000-seat Bahlke Field. The field turf at Bahlke Field is slated for replacement in June 2011.

The recommendation to add men's and women's lacrosse by a campus-wide Athletics Task Force was enthusiastically approved by Alma College President Jeff Abernathy.

"We are delighted to move forward with the addition of lacrosse — a growing sport that we believe will generate a level of excitement for our students and alumni," says Abernathy. "We've heard from both prospective and current students that lacrosse would be a dynamic addition that will attract new students and provide new opportunities for intercollegiate participation.

"As we do for all of our programs —whether academic or athletic — we are committed to ensuring that Alma students have a quality experience, both in the classroom and out," he says.

Alma College, an NCAA Division III member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, currently sponsors varsity men's teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field; and varsity women's teams in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

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