Lacrosse in Houston
Modern lacrosse was introduced to the Lone Star State in 1971. The genesis of the sport's growth in Texas can be traced to a single event: the legendary Johns Hopkins vs. Navy Game played in Houston's Astrodome in April of that year. This exhibition-part of the regular NCAA schedule for the two national powers - was calculated to spark the promotion of the sport in the Southwest. Two former Eastern high school players attending SMU and Texas A&M made contact through that event. Three weeks later, the Dallas Lacrosse Club challenged the newly formed Texas A&M team to a scrimmage on a section of the polo fields in College Station. That inaugural competition steadily evolved into our current lacrosse community of over fifty teams.
Both new teams met several times over the next year, and by the fall of 1972, the Dallas Club accepted an invitation to play the newly formed Houston Lacrosse Club at the Kinkaid School in Houston. The Texas Lacrosse League was formed by these three teams in 1974. The Tulane Lacrosse Club from New Orleans, applied for membership as did the San Antonio Lacrosse Club and the University of Texas. In 1975, Baylor, LSU and Texas Tech filled out the league to nine teams and re-dubbed the organization the Southwest Lacrosse Association.
1987 became a pivotal year for lacrosse throughout Texas. The St. John's School of Houston fielded the first high school team in the state that was associated with a school [there were several club teams]. Later that spring the St Johns team went and played a team from Dallas in an unofficial ‘championship’ game and beat them.
In the Fall of 1988 Lamar, Episcopal, The Kinkaid School and Memorial High School started teams. Bellaire and Cy-Fair started just two seasons later to bring the total high schools participating in Houston to seven.
The first state tournament was in the spring of 1989 at St Johns – Lamar vs. Memorial and St Johns vs. Austin Westlake. Lamar beat St Johns in the final 10-4.
In 1993, the next level of collegiate competition was introduced as Trinity University and the University of Texas played in the first sanctioned United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association [USILA] game in the Southwest. 1993 was also the year that girls high school lacrosse started. The first Girls High School State Championship that did not feature 2 Houston teams was in 1998. However it wouldn't be until 2008 that a team outside of Houston would win the State Championship.
Lacrosse continued to grow at a moderate pace until about 2001, when it simply exploded. Youth teams began forming all over the city, and the boys high school league split into two divisions.
Today, Houston is home to over 80 youth teams with over 1,600 players, 74 high school teams with over 1,600 players and 11 adult teams with over 300 players. New teams form every year.
- Information gathered from Bob Korba, Dave Vollmer, Stacie McKay and various records.
In 2006 a small group decided that Houston needed it's own US Lacrosse Chapter to address the needs of our growing area. In 2007, we were granted approval to begin the formal evaluation process. The group, led by Brian Ackman included Mike Block, Mike Newton, Doug LaPlant, Scott Elmore, Terrie Warren, Drew Hewiit, Mike Donnelly, Dan Lipnick, Stacie McKay, Michel Loutchaninoff and Peter Lofgren.
With all the due diligence completed, US Lacrosse voted at the annual convention and the Greater Houston Chapter as included in the class of new Chapters for 2008. Just 6 short months later, the Greater Houston Chapter was awarded as USL's 'Chapter of the Month' for July of 2008.
During the short time as an official chapter, Greater Houston as worked hard to become a unifying organization for lacrosse in the Houston area. We continue to work hard, look for new and fresh ideas, welcome additional leadership and be the 'Support Behind the Sport' in Houston.