Starting spring 2019, NNU will officially have a club lacrosse program on campus. To kick off this announcement, there was a co-ed clinic held in the Johnson Sports Center to give students an idea of what’s to come and a basic understanding and fundamentals of the sport.
Approximately 45 students showed up to participate, including a few local high school lacrosse players.
“I’m really excited for lacrosse to come to NNU,” said freshman student, Johnny Knittel. “Lacrosse was not an option for me growing up, so being able to try it out and learn a new sport is fun and exciting. Club sports give students who aren’t participating in varsity athletics another opportunity to be part of a team and athletic community.”
Heading up this new program are two new hires: Lance Howard and Tom Welsh.
Howard is serving as NNU’s Director of Club Sports and Recreation. He is responsible for the recruitment, direction and oversight of the newly formed Lacrosse Club, in addition to supporting the new Soccer Club and the SGA Journeys Outfitting Co. outdoor recreation club. He has 14 years of experience in educational leadership and has a heart for young people and a love for education, the outdoors, sports and recreation.
“I am thrilled to join the NNU community because it provides me a unique opportunity to work in an environment that brings my passion for Christ and passion for education, sports and recreation together,” Howard stated. “We are especially excited about the addition of club lacrosse to the sports offerings at NNU because it gives another option for student athletes who want to pursue a fun and balanced collegiate experience.”
Welsh will be serving as the Lacrosse Program Coordinator. He wears many hats in the local, regional and national lacrosse community, with his primary responsibility being Founder and Director of About the Kids Lacrosse in Meridian, Idaho. He also serves as the US Lacrosse-Idaho High School All American chair, is a member of the US Lacrosse National Coach Development Training Team and is the Lacrosse Director for the Meridian High School men’s and women’s teams.
Welsh and Howard plan to go out and speak with local high school programs and clubs to encourage them to consider coming to NNU to not only play collegiate lacrosse, but also earn a quality education. The hope is that this new addition will be a method to reach a wider audience and gain more students who are interested in playing at a college level without the added pressure that comes with a college sport.