Almost 10 years ago, the Columbia Renegades had an active, competitive lacrosse team that played in a club league against schools such as Northwestern, DePaul, Northern Illinois universities and the universities of Illinois and Indiana.
Although the team faded out in past years, there are currently efforts to revive Renegades lacrosse, according to Jon Bowman, president of the Renegades and a senior creative writing major.
The Renegades scheduled interest meetings for Feb. 19, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. in the Residence Center, 731 S. Plymouth Court and had interest meetings at The Loft, 916 S. Wabash Ave., Dec. 4 and at the Residence Center Dec. 6 and 7.
“The interest meetings in the fall were kind of toward the end of the semester when people were hunkering down for finals, so we didn’t get the biggest turnout, but the people that did show up seemed pretty dedicated,” Bowman said. “We’re hoping that with these interest meetings coming up in February that we’ll get people.”
According to Mark Brticevich, fitness coordinator and dean of students, a former Renegades lacrosse team was active in 2006 and 2007, but when the leaders of the team graduated, there was no one left to take charge.
“It never seemed to pick up after that,” Brticevich said. “Even when we had a couple students that were willing to be leaders, there weren’t enough players. Then we had enough players but there were no leaders.”
According to Abby Cress, former Renegades president and a senior fashion design major, a student named Sarah Kotnik and a group of girls tried to start a team in the Spring 2012 but could not follow through because there was a lack of student interest.
“She was a great captain and she never gave up, but [there] was a lack of interest,” Cress said. “I think it’s more possible for men’s lacrosse to get started…. We even discussed the possibility of co-ed so that they’d have enough, but with lacrosse that’s not really a co-ed [sport] be- cause they play so differently.”
Cress said she thinks the Renegades would have better luck if they started fresh in the fall.
“If we could have interest meetings in spring … and then in the fall if they hold tryouts … then we’ll get a lot of the new students interested,”Cress said. “In the fall, that’s when everyone [wants] to get involved, I think it’s really important to get it kicked off in the fall.”
Brticevich said there were enough interested students to start a team in the past, but they did not commit to play on the team.
“During orientation in the summer, there were several people that said they played lacrosse in high school, they have their own gear and they’re interested in playing,” Brticevich said. “It came out to 35–40 people that said … they’d be interested in [ joining] a lacrosse team. We’ll see if that follows through.”
Bowman and Brticevich both said the new lacrosse team captain, Michael Kutsick, a freshman arts, entertainment & media management major, is dedicated, which could mean that based on past experiences, his only obstacle will be recruiting enough students.
“It’s up to the students,” Brticevich said. “As the advisor to the athletics board, what we do is we give them support, we give them some financial support, we help with the promotion, but club sports is up to the students. They determine whether they want to play, where they want to play, how much they want to practice, how much commitment they want to put in.”