SEATTLE – For the first time in Washington state, student-athletes playing high school lacrosse will be recognized for their community service through a first-of-its kind “All-Community Team” being launched this spring.
Presented by the Washington State Chapter of US Lacrosse, the award is modeled after well-established All-State and All-Academic Teams but instead recognizes high school lacrosse players for extraordinary effort off the field of play and in their communities.
Available to any 9th – 12th grader playing boys or girls lacrosse for their Washington state high school team, the US Lacrosse Washington State All-Community Team honors student-athletes for their community stewardship along with academic excellence, leadership and creativity. All important building blocks of character on the field of play and in life according to Dave Low, president of the Washington State Chapter of US Lacrosse.
“Our hope is for the All-Community Team to both recognize kids that are doing great work to make their communities a better place to live, but to inspire their peers to also roll up their sleeves and help those in need,” said Low who launched the program after receiving a letter from a Bellevue High School lacrosse player looking to inspire students to do more than just fulfill their high schools’ community service graduation requirements.
“It’s a way to honor the game of lacrosse,” said Gavin Cipoletti, the Bellevue junior who floated the idea to US Lacrosse of an All-Community Team for high school lacrosse players in the state.
“I would like to see us recognize those kids who put their passion to work on and off the lacrosse field, by looking beyond themselves and leading others to help the community,” said Cipoletti in his letter to the state chapter of the sport’s national governing body.
For Low, it’s the perfect situation. A state-wide honor conceived by a student-athlete who sees a need and an opportunity to inspire others.
“The All-Community Team recognizes lacrosse student-athletes who demonstrate many of the hallmarks important to success — not just in sport but in life,” Low said.
And Cipoletti, who is already a member of Bellevue High School’s prestigious “Wolverine Guard ”, a similar accolade for community-service focused students, being a student-athlete is about more than winning and losing games on the field of play.
“It means honoring the game of lacrosse by being a good student-athlete and giving back to the community in creative ways,” he said. And Low agrees.
“It’s about inspiration and encouraging good citizenship,” said Low who believes the program may be the first of its kind presented on a state-wide basis by a high school sports sanctioning body.
“Strong community values are important to us in Washington state and how we inspire our young people,” he said. “Our hope is that by honoring our most community minded student-athletes we will foster similar passions with their peers, whether they play a high school sport or not.”
2014 US Lacrosse Washington State All-Community Team
Eligibility: Washington state boys and girls in 9th-12th grade who play lacrosse for their high school team.
Community: Document 100+ hours of community service during the current academic year.
Academics: Maintain a 3.0 GPA (cumulative or in quarter or semester prior to the spring sports season).
Deadline: May 1, 2014
Guidelines: USL All-Community Team Guidelines
About Lacrosse in Washington State
Lacrosse has over 100 years of history in Washington state with clubs playing in the early 1900s and high schools now in their fourth decade of state competition. With Native American origins, lacrosse is one of the oldest organized sports on the continent and today is considered the fastest growing sport in America. In Washington state, some 4,000 student-athletes attending over 200 high schools play prep lacrosse, while another 6,000 play lacrosse at the youth, adult and collegiate club levels throughout the state. For more information on high school lacrosse in Washington state visit http://www.WashingtonHSLAX.com.