CSU Adding Men’s Lacrosse as 16th Club Sport in 2015

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University will field a men’s lacrosse team as a club sport starting next fall, playing its first games in spring 2015, Campus Recreation officials have announced.

In preparation for the addition of CSU’s 16th club sport, Columbus State is hiring Brendan Bonacum, a former lacrosse standout at Dominican College of Blauvelt, N.Y. After graduating in 2012 with an education degree, Bonacum served briefly as an assistant coach and interim head coach at Dominican. Most recently, he was an assistant coach at Briarcliffe College on Long Island, N.Y.

"This decision reflects the continued commitment to athletics and recreation overall from the university," said Rick Cravens, assistant director of Campus Recreation. "I believe that it strengthens and builds the university as a whole.”

Officials hope to capitalize on the growing popularity of lacrosse in Georgia and beyond the state’s borders, where CSU is attracting more and more students.

Michael Speight, Campus Recreation’s club sports coordinator, said he anticipates no problem lining up a schedule of opposing teams.

“Lacrosse will not only strengthen our department but will also add more life to our already vibrant campus community," he said.

Within Georgia alone, 70 high schools field varsity lacrosse teams. At the college level, there are more than 10 lacrosse club programs and five varsity programs in the state. Although club sports aren’t considered varsity teams that adhere to NCAA standards, CSU’s club teams in such sports as football do play club team counterparts from other schools and, occasionally, face “second team” varsity squads.

Lacrosse originated as a team sport played by Native Americans. Today, players score by shooting a small rubber ball into an opponent’s goal on a 110-yard field, using lacrosse sticks to catch, carry and pass the ball en route to the goal. Defensive moves include “stick checking” and can include body contact, or positioning.

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