With a love and passion for the game of lacrosse, Dan Paur is hoping to bring his knowledge of the sport to the youth of the Redwood Falls area.
Earlier this spring, Paur approached the Redwood Falls City Chamber office to apply for a non-profit status to start a lacrosse program in town.
With its approval, the Redwood Valley?Frost Lacrosse Association was formed and recently wrapped up its first season of play.
“I’m very excited to see how much we’ve grown in just one season and for the support we’ve received from the parents and the community,” Paur said.
Lacrosse is one of the largest and fastest growing sports in the country and according to Paur, Minnesota is slowly becoming a hotbed for quality lacrosse.
“Almost all of the colleges and universities have a program at some level, mostly at the MCLA level (a club sport with future plans to become a varsity sport) and it’s a high school sanctioned sport in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Rochester,” he said.
The goal early on is to be admitted into the Minnesota Scholastic Lacrosse Association which is an alternative to the varsity level or a club league. It’s set-up for schools without a high school or middle school sponsored program and as of now has nearly 40 schools actively participating.
“It’s well organized in Minnesota and the nice thing is we can play a full league schedule with more established school districts like St. Cloud, Waconia, Shakopee, Chaska and Northfield,” Paur said.
This spring, along with assistant coaches Franky Jackson and Ken Paur, the?newly formed program attracted over 20 kids and the trio was able to use the first season as a way to teach the fundamentals of the game as well as promote the sport.
“This season was mostly a learning year for us,”?Paur said,?“Aside from one tournament, we did not play any games, we just practiced. I wanted this to be a learning year so that the kids could fully develop the skills necessary to play this game at a high and competitive level.”
The kids recently competed in the MInnesota Star of the?North Lacrosse Tournament in Rochester and went 1-3 overall (topping Rochester 10-8).
Connor O’Leary picked up the first ever goal and Vincent Jackson made the team’s first ever save.
“I thought our guys learned a lot about the game during the tournament,” Paur said,?“It’s hard to simulate in practice the game speed and physicality so it was a bit of an eye-opener but we did a good job of adjusting.”
Paur has an impressive resume when it comes to a sport most people usually associate with the east coast, not the state of Minnesota.
Page 2 of 2 - He played collegiately at St. John’s University (MN) and recently took part in a tryout in Charlotte, NC for the North American Lacrosse League (NALL). He made the initial cut and was invited to the national tryout in Raleigh, NC but was not drafted and is still considered a league free agent.
He also was recently hired as an assistant coach for the Minnesota State-Mankato University Men’s Lacrosse program under Tom Korrie.
Korrie is a former three-time All-American from Syracuse (a national lacrosse powerhouse) who has also coached at Cornell.
“It’s only a part time job,”?Paur said, “I’ll be staying on here in Redwood Falls to run the Frost program as well.”
Much like soccer, lacrosse has grown in popularity because of its fast-paced action and the fact its considered “safer” than a true contact sport like football or hockey.
The fast paced action is attractive to kids with each position on the field important in one way or another.
Lacrosse is still a contact sport with checking involved with both the body and the stick, but Paur is seeing a the interest in the sport grow with all of the new knowledge about concussions and other serious head injuries.
“With all of the head injuries in football and other ultra contact sports I think parents have a reason to be cautious,”?he said,?“Lacrosse is a contact sport and there is checking involved but the body contact is not geared towards the head and neck, it’s mainly used to move players out of the way or dislodge the ball from a players stick.”
Although the program is still in its infancy, Paur is hoping that he can generate even more interest and give local kids the opportunity to compete in a sport he truly cares about.
“I’m excited,” he said, “spread the word because the Frost is here to stay and we’re looking to take Redwood by storm.”