In 2017 Indian Prairie School Board District 204 recognized lacrosse as an official high school sport, partially because parents agreed to completely fund it.
The district said they’d revisit the topic in two years – and that time has come. Now parents are asking the board if they can lend a financial hand.
What Parents Want
“The lacrosse community is coming forward now to request lacrosse athletes within the district receive school funding going forward and receive equal treatment as athletes representing the district,” said Michelle Metry, a lacrosse parent. “We believe that the sport could continue to grow even stronger if the funding model were more equitable.”
Start up costs for the first year for the sport surpassed over $190,000. That number dropped somewhat in year 2, with total costs running just under $120,000.
Currently, there’s a $690 fee for girls interested in playing lacrosse, while boys pay a fee of $854. The high costs have caused potential players to miss out on the sport.
“To see those numbers falling off and one of the predominant reasons why is the cost of entry is disappointing,” said Derrick Harmer, a parent of a couple of lacrosse players. “And so we didn’t even have a freshman team this year as part of our boys programs we had to take our numbers and combine them to a junior varsity and varsity program.”
The Valley’s girls lacrosse head coach, Sean Storin, raised his concerns earlier this year at another board meeting.
“This seems to me to be a quintessential influxion point for the empowerment of young women,” said Storin. “And here we are saying I’m going to make it socially and economically difficult for you to pay, and I’m going to give you nothing in the way of a benefit to say we can help you.”
Future of Lacrosse in District 204?
Lacrosse is the only high school sport in 204 that’s completely parent funded. The school board hasn’t yet decided whether they’ll add lacrosse costs to a future agenda.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.