Fairmont High School has always worked hard to establish an athletic department that excels in all areas. This year, an added focus has been placed on the new boys and girls lacrosse teams.
Many neighboring school districts such as Bellbrook, Carroll, and Springboro have had club teams that were opened up to student-athletes from neighboring schools that did not offer the sport. Kettering students were able to play for other schools club teams.
For several years, there has been an on-going conversation at the state level about establishing lacrosse as a sport. This year, the Ohio High School Athletic Association made lacrosse an official sport, not just a club.
Since the state now views it as an official sport, it pushed Fairmont High School and other schools in our area to adopt it as a sport in their district.
After many discussions, The Kettering Athletic Board of Control met and decided that lacrosse could become an official sport at Fairmont and that the proper funding was available to make it happen.
Athletic Director, Chris Weaver, is the one answering questions that come with initiating a new sport. New players, parents, coaches and fans had many questions about funding, officials for games, rules and equipment.
Lacrosse has been catching interest all over the state of Ohio.
“It is one of the fastest growing sports,” Weaver said.
Fairmont has already accumulated 60 lacrosse players. The boys’ team contains 32 of those players and the girls’ team fields 28.
Head boys coach, Gregory Derus, believes that this number will increase in the next few years as the program makes a name for itself.
“I expect in the next year or two to have both a varsity and a junior varsity team. Currently, we only have a varsity team,” Derus said.
Many teams determine success based on how many games they win, but Derus thinks of success in a different way.
“Success for us in our first year will be developing a team, developing tradition, creating an understanding of the game, spreading the game, and representing Fairmont in the best possible way,” Derus said, “and winning games and establishing a program that will be lasting for years to come.”
A common concern was that other spring sports teams would be negatively impacted and possibly lose kids by adding another sport to the department.
Head softball coach, Chris Wamsley, is excited that lacrosse is being offered at Fairmont and does not see anything negative about it. He views it as another opportunity for kids to be successful.
“I think it is great that lacrosse is being added to our sports offerings at Fairmont, and hopefully it becomes another area where we can excel very soon,” Wamsley said.
Both teams are striving to make this a memorable inaugural season. Many players on the roster have never played before or even watched a Lax game.
Head girls’ coach Ali Reed is also learning along the way and has already seen improvement in her team.
“At first, the team started out as small groups of individuals, but through practice and team bonding activities there are no longer small groups of individuals, rather we are one big team,” Reed said. This I deem as a success.”
Derus hopes to share his enthusiasm for the game with the school and community.
“I love lacrosse. It is, in my opinion, the greatest game and the oldest team sport in our nation,” Derus said.
There are many invested supporters of lacrosse, and Derus appreciates all of those involved in helping to make this season a success.
“Our program wants to thank, in a special way, Mr. Weaver, the entire athletic department, Mrs. Marie Gaeke, and the school board for all the time, support, financial commitment and trust in me and our staff to create this program and make the entire Kettering community proud,” Derus said.
The girls team is currently 0-1 and the boys team is 0-2.