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Glendale girls get CIF lacrosse team

Lacrosse: Nitros program progresses from club squad to CIF-sanctioned team under the guide of Coach Joe Campbell.

January 21, 2011|By Charles Rich,

GLENDALE — The oldest sport will be the newest sport at Glendale High.

After sporting a club program the past several years, Glendale will feature a girls' lacrosse team this season. The Glendale Unified School District approved it in November and the Nitros became a CIF Southern Section sanctioned program.

Glendale will be the first local school to field a lacrosse program.

"The way I understood it, they have club teams and they have CIF teams and most of the girls' club teams became CIF teams," said Glendale Principal Deb Rinder, adding that club teams can only compete against other club teams, which would limit the Nitros program going forward. "I felt like that would dissolve the team and the interest.


"The bottom line for me is I really felt it's a great opportunity for the kids. Fortunately, we have the support of the district and the dedication of the coach and the interest of the kids to be able to do this. … This is a win-win for everybody."

Coach Joe Campbell, who runs the school's construction academy and played lacrosse in high school and college before being inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame's Greater Los Angeles chapter in 2008, said he believed the Nitros would someday have a CIF program.

"To me, it's a huge step for the kids at Glendale High School," said Campbell, who additionally oversees the Glendale Lacrosse Club that features a boys' and girls' team. "All I care about is that they can go out there and compete.

"It gives us a legitimate program, just like volleyball, soccer, track and field and softball. Most kids have never played a sport in high school. Now, they get an opportunity to represent their school. We've had about 20 girls sign up and hopefully there will be more coming.

"Having the club teams led to a huge influence and it shows that there's a value and that you are benefitting from it."

More than anyone else, Campbell spearheaded the program chance, according to Rinder.

"Really, Joe Campbell needs to be credited with carrying this torch forward," she said.

While an official schedule hasn't been compiled — the season runs March through May — Campbell said the Nitros are allotted 20 maximum matches. The Nitros will compete in the four-team Prep League with La Cañada, Westridge and Chadwick. In addition, Glendale might compete in matches against teams from other states.

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