In some communities, lacrosse has a long-standing presence. Such towns tend to enjoy booming youth programs, which set the stage for success at the high school level.
In the Massachusetts towns of Upton and Grafton, which share Nipmuc Regional High School in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, lacrosse is gaining steam at both the youth and high school levels simultaneously.
"I think on both the boys’ and girls’ sides, you’re talking about relatively young programs," said Chris Schmidt, the athletic director at Nipmuc High School. "With a history of 10 to 12 years, that may not sound that young, but with the state of lacrosse in Massachusetts, it is."
Schmidt has been down this path before, as he was instrumental in building the lacrosse programs in nearby Franklin more than a decade ago.