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Young Lacrosse Players Rock Westport

WESTPORT, Conn. — The Westport PAL lacrosse program hosted its fourth annual Bantam Lax Day at PJ Romano Field on Sunday. The Bantam program, which includes more than 120 boys in Grades 1 to 3, hosted teams from Norwalk, Wilton, Weston and Ridgefield.

The PAL lacrosse program in Westport serves 322 boys and 180 girls in grades 1 to 8. On Sunday, PJ Romano Field came to life with a full afternoon of lacrosse action, featuring six hours of games and more than 250 participants. The fields were lined with several hundred parents, players and spectators with hot dogs and burgers, creating a festive atmosphere.

“The program has really grown in the past few years,’’ said Westport PAL director of youth sports, Carm Roda. “Thanks to all the volunteers, we’re able to provide a great opportunity for the kids to learn an exciting sport, while also serving as a feeder system for young athletes as they move into high school.”

The PAL lacrosse program in Westport is one of the largest sports programs in town, with more than 500 participants. The Bantam program has doubled in size over the past three years and has three of the largest participation levels by grade in the program.

The Westport lacrosse program has existed for more than 30 years and has helped to develop outstanding lacrosse players, who have played in many Division 1 and Division 3 college programs.

This year's NCAA Lacrosse Tournament featured several Westport PAL alums, including Kip Orban (Princeton), Matt Yeager (Colgate), Jack Ambrose (Yale), and Charlie Ross and Nate Greenberg (Union).

As the primary feeder program for Staples High School's lacrosse program, Staples boys head coach Paul McNulty is thrilled with the growth of the PAL program. "It was great to see all those lacrosse players with Westport on their uniform. The PAL youth lacrosse numbers have doubled in the last four years. There is great parent dedication to making this program into an elite youth model," said McNulty.

Westport PAL lacrosse offers boys and girls programs from Grades 1 to 8. The PAL offers fall and winter instructional clinics and the season runs from March through mid-June. The program provides a safe and fun environment to teach the fundamentals of the game and to compete against towns in Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y.

"The PAL and its parent volunteers have worked hard to build an elite youth program,’’ Roda said. “We provide an opportunity for players of all skill levels to come out and enjoy the game of lacrosse. We hope to see more boys and girls at all grade levels come join The Westport PAL lacrosse program next year.”

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