Growing lacrosse at Southeastern

[HAMMOND] – The newly established Southeastern Men’s Lacrosse team raised over $2,500 on July 9 during a benefit party at Friend’s Coastal Restaurant in Madisonville.

Thanks to dedicated team members, their families and friends, Southeastern fans are gaining another way to #LionUp beginning in spring 2017. Proceeds from the event are going towards uniforms, division dues, travel expenses and a head coach. Guests donated through a $10 entrance fee in addition to purchasing tee shirts, raffle tickets or participating in a silent auction.

The man with the plan

David DiPiazza, founder and president of Southeastern Men’s Lacrosse, has worked hard to get the club sport off the ground through fundraising, advertising and recruiting. Noticing a lack of lacrosse in the Hammond area, DiPiazza, a junior occupational safety, health and environment major, decided to begin the journey to put Southeastern lacrosse on the map.

“Lacrosse is a sport that is about growing the game as much as it is about actually playing it. I wanted to introduce lacrosse to Hammond and Tangipahoa Parish in hopes that the game will be picked up by kids of all ages,” DiPiazza said. “Lacrosse is a great sport, and Tangipahoa Parish just hasn’t been introduced to it yet.”

While the benefit turned out to be a major success, he owes it all to the enthusiasm from his teammates.

Southeastern Men's Lacrosse logo designed by junior graphic design student Kacie Landis.

Southeastern Men’s Lacrosse logo designed by junior graphic design student Kacie Landis.

“Honestly, the turnout of this party blew me away. I’m so glad I took a chance and decided to start the team. I’ve recruited a group that are excited to start something new at Southeastern. We all brought our families and friends out to the benefit and had a fun time, and I’m really grateful for that,” DiPiazza said.

Sophomore kinesiology major Lane Bertheaud agreed that the night opened a new set of doors for the team’s future.

“Hearing about the team, then seeing the roster number go up, then experiencing Saturday night knowing how much money we made showed me that this is going to be a good thing. Everyone at the party was so supportive of the team, not just financially. We’re getting recognition and to me, that’s what is going to make our future bright,” DiPiazza said.

The lacrosse benefit party advertisement, obtained with permission from David DiPiazza.

The lacrosse benefit party advertisement, obtained with permission from David DiPiazza.

Growing the game

DiPiazza has recruited over 30 men to join the lacrosse team, whether experienced or not. Thanks to spreading awareness via social media and hosting events like Saturday’s benefit party, the team is growing consistently, DiPiazza said.

Team member Chris Bourque, a junior sports management major at Southeastern, expressed his excitement for the journey ahead.

“I played lacrosse in high school for a little while and really got into the sport,” Bourque said. “Now, watching my best friend start this team from the ground up and seeing where it has taken off gets me excited for next spring. It’s going to be a great year.”

A bright future ahead

There is still more to do to get the team fully underway, but DiPiazza is ready for whatever challenges are ahead.

“We’re starting something great,” DiPiazza said. “I can’t be more excited.”

For more information about joining or supporting the team, visit their website.

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