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Program begins for local kids at Buckingham Park

December 31, 2015
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

A new boys and girls recreational lacrosse league for children ages 7-14 is starting in the Lehigh Acres, Buckingham, North Myers Shores and Alva areas.

That's the word today from Richard Williamson, the program director, who said the sport will be based at Buckingham Park and open to players of all skill levels.

Ballistic Sports Group made the announcement through Williamson.

Article Photos

Richard Williamson holds a lacrosse stick. He is the director of the new youth program for lacrosse.

"Ballistic will teach you to play if you have never tried the sport before," Williamson said.

He said that East Lee County has great athletes who play soccer, football, baseball and basketball, but there has never been a lacrosse program in the area before now.

Williamson, who is also the head coach of boys' lacrosse at Riverdale High School, said he sees establishing a recreational program at Buckingham Park as a critical first step in making East Lee County a lacrosse center.

"Our boys and girls will be able to start playing in elementary school and carry on all the way through 12th grade," he said.

Williamson believes this will raise the quality of lacrosse in the area as a whole and provide scholarship opportunities for athletes in the future.

Formerly the head coach of the Estero High School lacrosse program, Williamson saw four of his players offered scholarships to play in college after last season.

"I hope to bring that kind of success to the kids who start out in the Ballistic program this year off 2016," he said.

His wife, Michelle, is Riverdale girls head coach and she leads the Ballistic girls program. Her expectations and goals match his, but her job will be more challenging.

"Girls lacrosse in Lee County is several years behind the boys' game, which is many years behind where it is in other parts of the country," Michelle said. "We have very few girls' club sports available in East Lee County, but we have many young athletes who would make excellent lacrosse players."

Ballistic teams will play in the Florida Youth Lacrosse League against Fort Myers-based Sharks, Estero's Gorillas and Collier County's Coyote programs.

Registration is now open for the spring season at Buckingham Park. A Learn2Play is scheduled at Veterans Park in Lehigh, too.

For more information, contact Richard Williamson at (239) 770-2631. There are Saturday sessions of "Learn to Play Lacrosse."

Some 10,000 fliers have been given to students in all elementary and middle schools in Lehigh.

"I hope to see around a 100 kids or more who I think would like to play this challenging and fun sport," Williamson said. "I would like to see if we can set up 13 teams and I think we can, once the word gets out to the children and their families in Lehigh, Buckingham and Alva areas."



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