Illinois Wesleyan University is adding men's and women's Lacrosse teams to the 20 odd sports already in its sports program. Athletics Director Denny Bridges says it is perhaps the fastest growing sport in the Midwest and will help the Bloomington institution gain enrollment.
Bridges says IWU was losing out on some students and wants to change that. He says Lacrosse is a spring sport and the addition of field turf to Tucci Field makes it feasible to add the teams because natural grass would take too much of a beating with fall and spring activity. Bridges says Augustana, Carthage, and Elmhurst also offer Lacrosse, and with Illinois Wesleyan, it can become a conference sport. Bridges says there is some urgency to hiring a men's coach so that team can be ready to compete in 2014. the Women's team will start a year later. The number of high schools playing Lacrosse has doubled in the last decade and 21 states including Illinois now have championships. Team sizes range up to 50 players. Bridges says the most famous Lacrosse athlete is Jim Brown at Syracuse, later a legendary NFL player.
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