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Lacrosse lesson exposes new world

Natchez — It’s always fun to learn a new game.

Area students like Emma Hogue got the opportunity to do just that last week at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.

Natchez resident Tom Scarborough was on hand to teach the children about lacrosse.

“Where did lacrosse come from?” Scarborough said.

Hands shot into the air and answers were shouted out.

Lacrosse originated from the Native American game stickball, where teams would compete to strike a wooden fish atop a pole with the ball.

With a shortened history of the origins of stickball shared, Scarborough began laying out ground rules for the lacrosse game. To pick up the ball, bend close to the ground and sweep the lacrosse stick forward. Digging at the ball from an angle will only push it into the ground. Both hands were to be kept on the lacrosse stick. No hitting and no picking up the ball with your hands.

“Also no slashing,” Scarborough said. “That’s where you make a over head chop with your stick.”

With the rules in hand, Scarborough had the children spread out. Goal tenders were chosen and the game was set to begin. As referee, Scarborough made sure no one got hurt.

Children scrambled for the ball tossed into the air. The clatter of sticks could be heard across the old stickball field at the Grand Village.

After a few moments of 20 children digging for the ball, Scarborough called for another toss of the ball. This time, the orange team was ready and after a few nice passes was able to score. That would be the only score of a game that only lasted eight minutes.

“It’s a fun game, but kind of hard” Hogue said.

“I hope by teaching the kids about lacrosse, that it will spark some interest in the school,” Scarborough said.

“Mississippi and Louisiana are kind of the last holdouts for the game. Hopefully, coaches will see that lacrosse is a perfect complementary conditioning sport to keep their athletes in shape during the off season.”