LACROSSE - Lacrosse gaining foothold in Valley

FRONT ROYAL — Lacrosse has been a very popular sport in Northern Virginia for quite a while, with most high school fielding a team.

But just a short jaunt down I-66 to the Shenandoah Valley and the only high school lacrosse team you will find is at private schools such as Randolph-Macon Academy.

The Shenandoah Valley Youth Lacrosse association is starting to change that, bringing a strong presence to the valley of the fastest growing sport in the United States.

SVYL was started four years ago and has doubled in size nearly every year, according to president Sean Bordner.

"We currently have over a dozen teams consisting of over 300 players," Bordner said.

SVYL is a volunteer organization whose goal it to provide a positive and fun lacrosse experience for both boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 18.

"We strive to develop and maintain a program where every participant, regardless of initial skill level, has the opportunity to learn the game," Bordner said. "To develop and improve skills and be prepared for the next level of lacrosse."

The SVYL currently has lacrosse teams of ages playing in Winchester, Woodstock, Strasburg and Front Royal.

The Front Royal team, the Rippers, began play this year after coach Devon Harper noticed a sizable amount of local kids traveling from Front Royal to surrounding areas to play.

"Devon and his wife Kristen spearheaded getting teams started in Front Royal for the 2015 season," Bordner said. "With the leagues full support, the Front Royal Rippers now offers boys and girls lacrosse for all ages."

This Saturday the SVYL will hold a showcase tournament at the Front Royal 15th Street Parks and Recreation Field from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The tournament will be the largest in the leagues history with over 1,000 local attendees expected.

Bordner invites the entire community to stop by and check out the sport of lacrosse as concessions, a moon bounce for kids and various contests will be offered.

"We are hoping this event will bring awareness of the greets sport to the entire Front Royal community" Bordner said. "Lacrosse in not an option in Warren County high schools and it should be."

The SVYL also offers an indoor season (Box Lacrosse) during the winter and summer months.

For more information about the league check out their website at

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