LSU / People / Sports

Changing the Culture – LSU Lacrosse

By Morgan Beard

If it looks like a Division 1 sport and sounds like a division 1 sport…then it must be a Division 1 sport.

Except for club sports just like LSU lacrosse. But unlike volleyball and soccer, lacrosse has a unique problem.

“Honestly, down here…not a lot of people even know what it is,” says Thomas Brown, a Maryland native.

But for a sport so obscure in the south, it has quite the background at LSU.

“Well first of all, the history of LSU is we’re actually in our 41st year playing lacrosse and a lot of people don’t realize that,” says Jeff Echols, LSU lacrosse head coach.

The lacrosse club’s tenure over the years can be attributed to passionate players – especially those from outside the state. Club president and player David Escott says the influence from up north can’t be overstated.

Head coach Jeff Echols says he wanted to change the culture surrounding LSU lacrosse - treating it as a true varsity sport

Head coach Jeff Echols says he wanted to change the culture surrounding LSU lacrosse – treating it as a true varsity sport

“If we didn’t have people from up north wanting to play we probably would have ceased to exist.”

“So up there, everyone plays it, everyone loves it and everyone does it,” Brown said.

Yet recently, lacrosse in southern states has shown continuous growth, says Echols, but the difference in culture isn’t just between the north and the south – it’s within the club itself.

“One thing I made sure of is we were going to run this team like it’s a varsity sport. I told our guys from day one it was going to be like that.”

But for players like Escott – the classification doesn’t matter.

“I’m not gonna play varsity football for LSU or anything like that so I play lacrosse and this is the highest level that I can play at…and I’ll play until my four years are up.”

And for now, the club level is more than enough.

Screen shot 2014-04-08 at 2.08.26 AM

LSU competes in the MCLA Lone Star Alliance – as of April 8th, 2014 the Tigers sit at 3rd place in the South division.

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