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OC Register: Brace for battle

February 28, 2009

Lacrosse players and parents brace for battle

District’s cost-savings plan includes eliminating newly sanctioned sport.

By CAMERON BIRD and ALEJANDRA MOLINA
The Orange County Register

MISSION VIEJO – As varsity girls scrimmaged Saturday, parents and others wondered if they were witnessing the beginning of the end for local high school lacrosse.
Saddleback Unified School District this week included the sport in a list of potential budget cuts, along with roller hockey. Districtwide, every assistant coach could be let go.
These plans don’t sit well with Karen Paliska, who kept score at field’s edge during the preseason weekend game between Mission Viejo and Trabuco Hills high schools. Her daughter Allie, a senior, will be picking up lacrosse in the fall at Maryland’s Salisbury University.
Lacrosse, North America’s oldest team sport, is relatively new to Southern California. Laguna Hills and El Toro high schools also offer the sport, but club teams are sparse in the area.
Three years ago, Mission Viejo boosters raised $66,000 in two weeks to seed the lacrosse program.
“To cut it would just be a tragedy,” said Karen Paliska.

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