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Lacrosse gearing up for inagrual season

April 15, 2016

Photo courtesy of Dan Nolan - Coaches Elizabeth Demara (Left) and Andrew Routt (Right) at April Zorn Stadium.

Monmouth College, an institution that prides itself on its academics as well as its stellar athletic programs, welcomes a new sport to the proud Fighting Scots tradition. Lacrosse is officially a DIII sport under the NCAA.

With the hiring of men’s head coach Andrew Routt, and woman’s head coach Elizabeth Demara, the Monmouth College community is eager to see what the lacrosse program has to offer for years to come.

“It’s been polarizing for many kids and I don’t think I expected that,” said coach Routt. “Many prospective student-athletes are either really excited about making history and starting a program, or they are very opposed to it. The fact of the matter is that you are going to have a chance to come in right away and set the tone for our program.”

In addition to the hit and miss nature of discussions with prospective student athletes, the newest coaches in the Monmouth College athletic department will have to overcome another hurdle.

Demara comes to Monmouth College after coaching at the DII level where NCAA rules permit schools of that size and bigger to hand out athletic scholarship money to student athletes to come and compete at their college. However, this is not possible for the new Scots coaches due to rules that restrict DIII programs from offering scholarships to play.

“Coming from a Division II program recruiting obviously takes a different shape just in the aspect of scholarships,” said Demara. My biggest focus has been emphasizing the timeline to prospective student-athletes and their families.”

Both coaches emphasize the athlete’s ability to dictate the direction of the program. With Lacrosse being the shiny new addition to the Scots long line of athletic tradition, incoming Lacrosse athletes will be in charge of putting the first statistics in the books for Monmouth and set a precedence of excellence coming out of the gates.

“We want to give families the time they deserve to see how everything is going to come together. I can’t stress to them enough that it’s their timetable, not mine,” said Demara. “It’s an important family investment and I feel totally confident with what we have to offer here at Monmouth College to be patient in that regard.”

Recruiting players to establish a team is acknowledged as a challenge for Demara and Routt, but looking ahead into the future both coaches acknowledge another challenge once play actually begins for the young program.

“The first Fighting Scots lacrosse players they are going to be making history,” said Routt. “But the flip side of that is that we’re going to have a team of mostly freshmen athletes competing against four year seniors who have experience and know the speed of collegiate lacrosse. There’s no substitute for that. The experience that we will earn in our first two seasons as a program will play major dividends for our team.”

The Monmouth College lacrosse program will begin competition during the 2016-2017 season.

Danish Shah
Contributing Writer

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