RKA lacrosse overcomes hurdles in first season

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The project seemed simple, yet daunting at the same time.

The David A. Stein Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy (M.S./H.S. 141, RKA) was looking to bring lacrosse into its stable of spring sports and Michael Hirsh, a teacher and lover of the sport, was all for the idea. Except he didn’t think the plan would ever get off the ground.

“It was brought to my attention by the PSAL lacrosse commissioner [John Murphy] that there was a possibility that we could get a team here at RKA,” Hirsh said. “It was something that I always had a desire to do, but didn’t think it was a feasible plan. But when I brought the idea to my principal, Mrs. [Lori] O’Mara, she was totally on board.”

The next steps then were to secure funding to run the program, gauge interest from the student body and finally, acquire the equipment to outfit the Tigers’ new team. The first two steps went surprisingly well, with the school landing funds from both PSAL and an organization that helps get new lacrosse programs up and running. 

“It all happened really quickly,” Hirsh said. “An organization called City Lax that funds new teams was willing to give some funding to the PSAL to try and pay for the coaching hours and things of that nature. They were also willing to give us some extra equipment and Mrs. O’Mara was able to provide some funds as well.

“So then it just came down to talking to the kids and seeing if there was any interest,” he continued. “So I would say from the time I first heard about the possibility of having a lacrosse program until the time I met with the kids it was maybe three weeks.”

With the funds secured and a 23-man roster in place, the final hurdle for Hirsh was to equip his team. That’s where the momentum slowed considerably.

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