Top lacrosse teams come to Clermont
Spring break is when most college students head to Florida, usually for the beach, but for many student-athletes it means heading to warm weather and high-tech training facilities like the one in Clermont. The National Training Center (NTC) at South Lake Hospital attracts top collegiate lacrosse teams every year. Men’s and women’s teams from both Division 2 and Division 3 come to the facility to train and compete with games open to the public.
In 2011, there were 19 teams participating in the program. Now, the NTC is hosting 39 teams, all ranked within the top 50. Some notable teams include Trinity College, ranked women’s No. 3, and Salisbury College, which came in at No. 8. These teams come to the NTC because of what our community offers.
“There are other Florida options for these teams, but they choose to come here,” said Kate Powell Wojciechowski, the center’s sports business coordinator. She believes the center offers a level of convenience that’s hard to beat.
The NTC itself is top notch and game management is outstanding with its use of digital recording methods. The center also brings in local company Vidoou to do the required game recording in HD. This gives teams the freedom of attending without having to lug their own equipment and staff.
The center partnered with local housing options to give teams a variety of lodging options. Some restaurants also participate in the partnership and grant discounts to the teams. This draws business and recognition to the Clermont community.
Another great reason to welcome these teams to town is the games themselves. Because these are top competitors, games tend to be exciting and rowdy. Kate says a lot of alumni come out because these games count toward their official season and ranking. Games run from Feb. 28 to March 23, and it is only $5 at the gate to attend.
March 15 and 17 are the biggest days with six intense scrimmages each day. Food trucks will be at the fields on these days. Expect some local favorites like Kona Ice. Philly’s Best will be there on the 15, and Big Hot Box will be serving up Mexican on the 17. Others are still in the works.
For the women, you don’t want to miss Trinity vs. Salisbury. With a healthy rivalry, they were matched at finals last year, and will meet again at the NTC fields. In addition, for the men’s, be sure to see Springfield vs. Bowdoin and Bowdoin vs. Stevens Institutes of Technology. These matches are sure to be high energy and are a load of fun for spectators.