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With lacrosse having established a firm foothold in the eastern part of Bedford County, it now can be found in the heart of our area.
Yes, lacrosse has come to the World’s Best Little Town. It has done so in the form of the Bedford Generals.
The program has been quick out of the gate, with three teams already established. The U-11 team is coached by Scott Willis. The U-15 group is headed by David Ahrens. And the high school team is led by Michael McAninch.
The Generals’ home field can be found at the Bedford County rec facility, near the Primary School.
Large nets have been emplaced there to prevent wayward shots from hitting any cars on Bedford Avenue.
The Generals were a natural offshoot of the success that was realized by the Forest program. In fact, a good number of current Generals players got their starts with Forest.
“We had some kids from Liberty playing for Forest,” said McAninch. “We wanted to broaden our reach.”
Indeed, the Generals include players from Bedford, Goode, Forest, Timberlake, Appomattox and Amherst.
The high school team carries 22 players, with over half of them having gained experience through the Forest program. The U-15 team carries about 15 players, with the U-13 carrying a couple less than that.
The Generals have plunged into the season with vigor. Each of the teams has 16-18 regular season contests. That season runs through May 21.
The team is affiliated with the Central Virginia Lacrosse Club. As such, it plays the likes of East Roanoke, New River Valley, Salem and Rustburg.
The team has traveled as far as Richmond, to play Swift Creek and Woodbury.
While there is a strong sense of competitiveness on the field, there is also a strong sense of camaraderie off of it. “The other programs have been real helpful to us,” noted McAninch.
Still, now that this fledgling has left the nest, growth will be the key.
“Our success will be built on the younger kids,” said McAninch. “Our long term vision is to expand and have a U-9 through High School program and a fall program.”
Lacrosse is not an inexpensive game. While there are costs associated with facilities and game officials, just as with any other sport, there is also specialized equipment. A stick, helmet shoulder pads, elbow protection and gloves can set a potential player back anywhere from $200 to $400.
The good news is that there is a large market for used equipment, which can offer a substantial discount.
No matter the cost, McAninch sees the benefits. “Get into this game because it’s exciting,” he urged. “There’s some hitting, with a bit of football and soccer in it.”
If interested, check out Centralvirginialacrosse.com