Lacrosse continues to gain popularity in Baltimore City and one of the important starting points is the Parks & People Foundation’s Baltimore Middle School Lacrosse League. On Sunday afternoon, the BMSLL will kick off its spring season with a skills clinic taking place at the Baltimore City Public Safety Training Center (formerly Pimlico Middle School) located at 3500 Northern Parkway from 1 to 3 p.m.
The league, which will open its season April 14, has grown from six teams last year to 10 with 150 middle school players expected to participate.
On Sunday, Baltimore City Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld III will make opening remarks and National Lacrosse Hall of Famer Tom Marechek will conduct a shooting exhibition.
Players and coaches from some of Baltimore’s best high school teams -- Calvert Hall, McDonogh, Gilman, St. Paul, Boys Latin, Forest Park, Edmonson, Carver, Northwestern and Walbrook -- will also be at the clinic to work with the middle school players.
The league’s current participating schools include: Dickey Hill, Bluford Drew, Jemison East and West, Franklin Square, Kipp Ujima, Cross Country, Francis Scott Key, Booker T. Washington, Calverton and Roland Park.
“We want to bring this great sport to schools that could never afford it otherwise and hopefully impact families and communities through the players’ participation,” Commissioner Bealefeld said.
Members of the Baltimore police department will provide mentoring and assist with coaching and recruiting for the expanded league with the goal of improving the relationship between the Police Department and the teams’ communities.
The Parks & People Foundation has run the lacrosse league since 2000, serving over 1,000 young people, many of whom would never have had the opportunity to play lacrosse without the BMSLL.
“Our hope is to expand the Parks & People league from 10 teams to 24 teams in the next three years,” said Parks & People Director of Youth Programs Monica Logan.
Ongoing funding for the BMSLL is provided by the US Lacrosse Foundation. The Foundation founded the league almost 20 years ago and remains its biggest supporter .
For more information on the Parks & People Foundation’s sports programs, click here or call (410) 448-5663.