Blake Wahrlich stops by the Lacrosse Frontier to let us know a bit about his program in Billings, Montana. Enjoy!
When several lacrosse players and enthusiasts started the Billings Scorpions program back in 2011 they really didn’t know what to expect or where to start. They just hoped they had a team of players and parents willing to take a leap of faith on this knew sport many “had seen on ESPN once, but new nothing else about it.” That first year they did have a team of about 20 players comprised of all ages from 5 th graders up to a sophomore in high school. Fast forward to the 2013 season and you will see a program on the verge of very rapid expansion, like many other of the Frontier programs, with the addition of a boy’s U11 and a girls’ team. These two new teams will join their existing boys U13, U15, and high school teams.
Of course with such rapid growth come some growing pains, such as the need for more coaches. Christina Klekner is one Billings resident who will be coaching the girls’ team, and is in charge of the development of the girl’s program for the Scorpions. Along with her, both the boys and girls programs will have some brave parents willing to become assistant coaches and learn the game of lacrosse.
To add to the growing pains, the Billings Scorpions are putting on the first Jamboree of the year, the Billings Trailhead Jamboree. This Jamboree will be the largest single day event in Montana Lacrosse’s history, surpassing last season’s state championship in Missoula. A total of 25 teams ranging from U11 to High school. Teams from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Canada will descend upon Billings to play some of Montana’s best high school teams being a showcase for the youth players watching.
This year the Scorpions slogan could very well be “The Breakout Year” as they are poised to double their numbers from 60 players in 2012 to 120 players for the 2013 season. The high school team was the new kid on the block last year, but have worked hard in the off season with one objective, be number 1. Boys U11 will be a huge addition for their program as it will become the foundation and feeder team for the U13 and U15 age groups. The U13 and U15 age groups will finally have enough players so no one will have to play up as they did in years past. And last but not least, the girls’ team will be making history this year being the first new organized team sport to show up in Billings for girls in recent history.
The Scorpions are poised to become the hub of lacrosse for the Eastern Montana region and it is due to all the parents, players and locals willing to invest their time, effort, and money into the program. Grow the Game may be a great catchy marketing phrase, but like all other Frontier programs it is a philosophy they have lived by since the birth of the program.
We will also have more coverage of the Scorpions this spring on the Lacrosse Frontier!