With the summer approaching and the high school champions crowned, there comes a new breed of lacrosse to Constitution Park in Brigham City. Home of the Box Elder Bees during the spring, Constitution Park becomes the home of the Northern Utah Lacrosse Men’s League during the summer.
The league started in the summer of 2010 by Chase Read. Many players from Northern Utah had played in the ULA league in Sandy but the time commitment to drive to and from the games on weekdays was too great. Read heard the frustrations of several of these players and decided to make the Northern Utah Lacrosse League to give players the opportunity to play closer to their home.
Read talked to Kelly Kennedy who runs a youth league in Northern Utah to brainstorm on an organizational structure that would work. Read then talked to Bryan Frates, Boys Commissioner at the ULA, who shared several ideas with Read and put him in touch with Grant Nielsen, who is in charge of assigning referees.
“After talking to those two guys, it all began falling into place,” said Read. “I crunched some numbers with the costs of the refs and other league expenses that would cost the league to run, and simply divided that number by the amount of players I was hoping to get to put together four teams. My goal was and still is to keep league costs as low as possible, and hopefully with more players registering each year, I hope to drop the fee each season. In May of 2010 I contacted some people I associated with in lacrosse back in high school including Kyle Shaw and Tyler Aikens and told them about the idea and asked if they were willing to organize some teams to compete in the league. I was also able to get in touch with Tyler Deamer who had a team from up here, the Lax Ninjas, who competed in the Sandy league, and asked if they would rather compete in this league. With their three teams and the team that I and some friends were able to put together, we were able to pull together a 10 game season for each team one month later in the beginning of July.”
In 2011, the league saw two teams leave but were able to bring in a team from Logan with the help of Utah State Head Coach Jon Atwood. Read emailed all the high school head coaches in Utah to solicit the graduating seniors and was able to form another team.
This year, four teams will again compete for the crown including the Blue Devils, Lax Ninjas, Toads, and Treebeards.
“We hope to continue to up the level of play each year while keeping the fees low and staying close to home,” said Read.
For more information about the league and to register, please visit the Northern Utah Lacrosse website.