“We started the organization after seeing a need in the West Cobb and Paulding areas to help kids develop in the sport,” Pratt said.
Two of the teams, the U11 and U13 units, are set to travel to Tampa, Fla., to participate in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament from Dec. 29 to 31. This calendar year, the U13 team has won the Georgia Games, the Southern Sizzle event in Charlotte, N.C., and the Southside Holiday Classic, which was in Peachtree City in November. The U11 team also won that event along with placing second in the Georgia Games.
“We had a strong summer season and that’s how we received the invitation to the tournament to face champions from other events,” Pratt said.
About 75 percent of the players in Crossfire Lacrosse are from Paulding, specifically as members of the North Paulding youth programs.
“We have talented kids from North Paulding and that program has grown in the past few years,” U13 assistant coach Ray Marchese said. “We started with 40 kids and now have more than 250 participating in the sport.”
Pratt said, “Lacrosse teaches people how to work together in competition and grow through adversity.
Marchese said, “We run a solid program while kids and parents are looking for alternatives to other sports. Lacrosse gives you physical contact and speed but not as much as football while also not being as expensive and time consuming as travel baseball may be.”
Even after its final event of 2013, Crossfire will return to practice preparing for its next tournament.
“The sport in Georgia has grown much faster than expected with more coaches and field space required to accommodate the need,” said Pratt. “We’re excited about it because of our passion for lacrosse and coaching the younger players.”