Hundreds of Lacrosse Players Come to Town for Annual Fest

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Over 2000 fans and players are in Northwest Arkansas for the Lacrosse Fest.

Around sixty games are being played in Rogers and Bentonville.

Athletes from area rival schools join forces and play together on the NWA Lacrosse Team. Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and Scott Ray, NWA Lacrosse President, says its popularity has sky rocketed in Northwest Arkansas.

"We have only actually been a club for about five years now," says Ray. "So to go from rag-tag starting out with ten or fifteen boys just starting out to having over two hundred players across all age groups this year has been very exciting for us."

Teams from all across Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas came together Saturday and Sunday to play in the annual Lacrosse Fest. Teams include players ranging in age from eight to eighteen. This year's event is twice the size of last year's.

Conor Baird has been playing Lacrosse for five years and he says anyone can get into the sport.

"It's a great sport, anybody can play," says Baird. "It doesn't matter how big or strong you are. It's a little hard to pick up in the beginning but everybody has potential. If you just practice, it is really fun."

U.S. Lacrosse recently awarded chapter status to Arkansas. The Arkansas Chapter is the only chapter in the entire state as well as Oklahoma and Southern Missouri.

"It's unheard of to be only this young and be able to be granted chapter status so that's an exciting thing for us this year," says Ray.

Lacrosse is growing rapidly at the collegiate level. Ray says playing lacrosse is not only great exercise but it can also lead to college scholarships. Cody Eckes hopes to get an offer from Dartmouth.

"Dartmouth has a great academics program and they've got a great lacrosse team there so it has a lot of opportunities coming out of college as well," says Eckes.

Ray says because there is a lack of women lacrosse players, there is an abundance of scholarship available to females.

Games will continue through Sunday afternoon.

Varsity and junior varsity boys play at Veteran's Park in Rogers; youth boys and varsity girls play at Washington Junior High, Old Tiger Stadium, and Lincoln Junior High.

Admission is free to all games.

To see a complete schedule, click here.