So many athletes are missing out on their final season, but for some, this time of year would have been an escape to a sport that has grown exponentially in the Bismarck-Mandan area.
Back in 2014, the introduction of lacrosse sparked a different level of competition for high school athletes in the area. Now, the Bis-Man Rattlers are going strong thanks to seniors like Jackson Dickinson.
“Lacrosse is like a whole mixture of sports combined,” says senior Jackson Dickinson. “And that’s what we always say on the field. You can set picks like in basketball, like a little pick and roll play. You have hockey, where you can dump the ball down and waste a little bit of time. You have soccer, where you need to create space so you can start moving around on the field.”
Dickinson, like so many others, has jumped into the sport with little to no experience. Rivals before, now coming together as teammates on the field.
“Kind of going in, I was a little intimidated, just because there were people that I’ve never met before and they’re all going to be better than me,” senior Thomas Odegaard says. “But a lot of them I knew from other sports, and I just walked right in and it was kind of an instant click. They guys are all really nice. It’s just a great program.”
The season has been canceled this spring, but the outgoing seniors have remained committed to recruiting new players, the main way the program has continued to grow.
“Advertising with the school districts and word of mouth,” says coach Shaun Werle. “The kids are actually our best recruiters. We’re always preaching to the kids to recruit their friends and have an extra stick around all the time so they can play catch with somebody.”
“I would like to see it grow between other cities like in Minot, or in Williston, or in Dickinson,” Dickinson says. “Just in bigger cities so we can have lacrosse grow here, and so it can grow in other cities as well.”
Bis-Man says they will try and schedule a few open practices over the next few weeks for anyone that still wants to try the sport out.