Lake Nona Youth Sports is introducing an updated competitive lacrosse program for boys and girls called Heroes Lacrosse in honor of the military veterans who have volunteered to build the sport in Lake Nona. Previously known as Junior Lions Lacrosse, Heroes Lacrosse is all-new with a focus on enhancing core skills and character-building values. Participants will compete in the Florida Lacrosse Association League playing against other Central Florida teams.
“We’ve made some exciting upgrades to our program to deliver an outstanding experience for our young athletes and prepare them for more competitive play at the high school level,” said John Chin, head coach and director of lacrosse for Lake Nona Youth Sports. “We take our inspiration from the player’s creed: I lead, I grind, I serve. We want to show them how sports can build character to bring out the best in them.”
The boys’ program includes four divisions of league play for grades 1-8 and an inaugural program for girls in grades K-8, run by parent-volunteer coaches who receive training and support from Coach Chin and his assistants. Mike Bensey, former president of Lake Nona Youth Sports, is returning as co-director to help evolve the new program with Coach Chin and work on the physical, technical and mental aspects of the game.
“I’m looking forward to sharpening their individual skills of scooping, shooting and footwork during our practices, as well as teaching the team concepts of transition play, man-down defense, and offensive principles,” Coach Chin said. “But we want them to enjoy the sport and make new friends, too.”
Lake Nona Youth Sports is a community nonprofit organization with the goal of cultivating and enhancing a young athlete’s skill and passion for sports. The all-volunteer coaches offer kids an opportunity to participate in a fun, safe and exciting sports environment. The lacrosse program started through a grassroots community movement in 2015. The following year, the Lake Nona Youth Sports’ board of directors officially adopted the sport and held free clinics to help promote lacrosse under the Lake Nona Junior Lions brand with organized practices and scrimmage programs.
In 2017, the Lake Nona Junior Lions lacrosse program aligned efforts with Lake Nona High School, where John Chin was coaching the boys’ varsity lacrosse team. He also worked to bring the popular co-ed SPEED LacrosseTM to the area, building a stronger lacrosse presence in Lake Nona. Anticipating the success of the rebranded Heroes Lacrosse program, a committee of parent-volunteers has been formed to help with administration, logistics and games.
“If your kids want to improve cardio and footwork skills and learn one of the fastest-growing sports in America with more scholarships than other popular sports, this program offers them a great opportunity,” said C. R. Dunnavant, president of Lake Nona Youth Sports. “New players are welcome, and kids will receive newly designed uniforms they can keep after the season.”
Photo Courtesy of Lake Nona Youth Sports