As the Aurora University Spartans men’s lacrosse team hosted the visiting Blue Jays of Elmhurst College on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, a young fan base, new to lacrosse, was in the stands cheering them on.
As part of a senior project, three AU communication students, Loretta Johnson, Lorelei Ritzert and Brittany Roydhouse, organized the event, “Kids in the Krease.” Twelve kids from the Hesed House after-school program were special guests at Vago Field and cheered on the Spartans to victory. The event was planned to bring the youth from the area shelter to the AU campus to experience student life, learn about lacrosse and build a relationships with student-athletes. Special t-shirts and stickers with a lacrosse logo design on them were sold with all proceeds being donated to the Hesed House after-school program.
As the kids arrived on campus, they were greeted by the communication students, AU Assistant Athletic Director Nicole Pieart, women’s lacrosse Head Coach Christina Fried and the entire women’s lacrosse team. For the first part of their time on campus, Coach Fried and the women’s lacrosse team taught the kids the basics of the game, including how to shoot, catch and pass a lacrosse ball. A tour of Alumni Hall followed with the group being able to spend time in the weight room, the athletic training facilities and the locker rooms.
The special visitors learned what the Spartans dedicate their time to during season on a daily basis and were able to eat lunch and cheer on the men’s lacrosse team as they took on Elmhurst for the second half of the game.
As the Spartans ended the game with a 15-5 win, the Hesed House kids were able to run the field to congratulate the team. The guys lined the kids up in order to shake the opposing team’s hands, included them in the “Spartan” break down and took a team picture.
The girls will continue selling the lacrosse stickers and t-shirts through the end of March. Anyone interested in buying a sticker for $4 or a t-shirt for $20 can contact Loretta Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds will be donated to the Hesed House.
Article courtesy of Aurora University Athletics AU Spartans and AU Sports Information Director Brian Kipley.