The club, while it bears the name of the local high school, is not based out of North Paulding High.
“We, a group of lacrosse parents whose children were playing lacrosse at Allatoona [High School in the Junior Bucs Lacrosse League] started the program on our own, in hopes of NPHS picking up our program, which they just did. North Paulding is now a feeder program to North Paulding High School,” said Donna Pellegrino, president of North Paulding Lacrosse.
North Paulding Lacrosse is a part of the Metro Atlanta Youth Lacrosse Association and all home games are played at the Samuel U. Braly Sports Complex in Dallas.
Starting with just 42 players, participation has grown to 235 players.
“Our league now has a girls program and grew 550 percent in one year. North Paulding High School will incorporate a JV girls and boys program in spring 2013 — a first in Paulding County,” Pellegrino said.
Paulding County School District Athletic Director Don Breedlove spoke on the future of lacrosse at North Paulding as well.
“NPHS will begin next year with JV lacrosse teams with the intent to move to a varsity program in the next couple of years. There is a tremendous interest in that part of the county,” Breedlove said in an email.
Pellegrino said there are currently eight age groups offered through the club, U9, U11, U13 and U15 for both girls and boys. However one of them did not play this spring .
“We had 14 teams in the spring 2012 season, all levels played except U15 girls,” Pellegrino said.
Pellegrino also said that the league is expecting to have at least 14 teams again this season, including the U15 girls team.
Some of the players of the North Paulding Lacrosse Club also play in “elite” summer programs in Atlanta such as Crossfire Lacrosse and Cannon Lacrosse, Pellegrino said.
“There are currently 35 North Paulding Lacrosse players total that participate in Crossfire Lacrosse on the U11, U13 and U15 teams,” Pellegrino said.
Pellegrino also said a lacrosse tournament is planned at Braly Fields on July 21 and 22. This tournament will be part of the Georgia Games.
According to the Georgia Games website, the Georgia Games Championships is an Olympics-style festival that holds events and tournaments in about 42 different sports, each at a different venue.
Pellegrino said 35 players from her club will participate in the Georgia Games.
As the North Paulding Lacrosse Club continues to grow, Pellegrino said they would like to see more growth beyond their club.
“We would love to see lacrosse continue to grow across Paulding County, especially with the LakePoint park opening up in Emerson in a few years, which will have lacrosse fields,” Pellegrino said, “If kids knew that they could come watch some great lacrosse games in our county, I think it might spark some interest in the sport.”