Lacrosse sticks in the air
The Avon Lacrosse Club celebrates victory

Stick-ing to It | Avon Lacrosse Club Continues to Grow

While the roots of lacrosse date back to the 12th century, this fast-paced sport didn’t come to Hendricks County until the last decade. Now, it’s thriving. 

The Avon Lacrosse Club was brought to town in 2017 by founders Ronn Mesarosh and Mike Griffin.

It’s a high-energy sport for both men and women, with the object of the game is to shoot the solid rubber ball into the opponent’s goal. The stick can be used to catch, carry and pass the ball. The team with the most points wins.

It’s sort of like a mix between all the sports you’re familiar with, rolled into one fast-moving, exhilarating game.

Boys and girls games are played slightly differently.

Boys, coached by Mitch Molloy, have 10 players: a goalie, three attack positions, three midfield positions and three defenders. Girls, coached by Ronn Mesarosh, have 12 players, adding a player for both attack and defense.

Mesarosh’s daughters attended a 2014 clinic in Brownsburg and fell in love with the sport.

As the Brownsburg youth team grew, it was recommended the ladies from Avon branch off to form a new team, including Mesarosh and Griffin’s daughters, and the two fathers began the program.

Though fairly new to Avon, the sport is growing and offers plenty of opportunities for youth to get involved.

“It’s not yet sanctioned through IHSAA so it’s still considered a club, but that also means it’s open,” said Tiffany Green, Avon girls lacrosse assistant coach. “If you’ve played other sports or never played a sport, you can come out and learn.”

It’s an opportunity to learn more about the sport before it becomes official – something many Indiana coaches hope is just around the corner.

There are currently 60 boys varsity programs and 40 girls varsity programs in the state, and in the past three years, the Indiana Girls Lacrosse Association has added eight new teams.

Two male lacrosse players in a match
Two club players scramble in club lacrosse.

“If you don’t know someone who has played it can feel strange because we haven’t seen lacrosse as much as some of the other sports, but once you learn about it, you want to become more involved,” Green said.

Green found lacrosse in her Ohio high school and went on to play in college, even participating in a women’s adult league in the northwest after college.

Molloy found the sport in a similar fashion. “I was someone who played every sport growing up,” Molloy said. “A lot of my friends started lacrosse the year before and seemed to really enjoy it, so I signed up in the sixth grade. From the first practice I was hooked.”

For those who have found it, it’s not uncommon to continue their lacrosse journey to college and beyond. Many members of the Avon boys and girls lacrosse clubs have gone on to college while continuing their pursuit of the game. Colleges such as DePauw University, Indiana University, Purdue University and others offer lacrosse teams.

Gretta Mesarosh graduated from Anderson University having playing lacrosse for four years, and even returned to Avon to as a varsity assistant coach.

“I was initially drawn to the uniqueness of lacrosse,” she said. “I love the competitive nature of the game and how much I’ve been able to be a part of a growing sport.”

Once she graduated, Mesarosh essentially aged out of lacrosse programs in Indiana and found that coaching allowed her to pass on her knowledge and love for the game.

“I love that I now have the hindsight and knowledge to help show girls what I didn’t know at their age,” she said. “I have loved getting to know the young women on the team, and it has been so cool watching something you’ve coached translate onto the field and watch them all improve. It has reconnected me with lacrosse in ways I never expected, and it’s very exciting to continue to see where it goes.”

Two female lacrosse players

In addition, scholarships are available for athletes who want to continue playing in college through the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Brownsburg Graduate to Play Lacrosse in NCAA Division I>

“Indiana coaches need players and it’s definitely a good option for sport scholarship opportunities,” Green said. “As a club, we also offer the Noah Pillow Scholarship, covering the cost for players who might not be able to participate due to registration fees.”

They practice in the fall and then participate in the spring competitive season, often putting in two hours per day of practice and nearly 20 games per season – and they’re successful too. The Avon girls team won the 2019 Great Midwest Bearpaw Shootout, winter Max Lax 2022 and winter 2024 Max Lax junior varsity division.

The Avon boys team was runner-up in the Max Lax junior varsity division twice in the past five years, and have risen in the ranks, from 50th to 19th in the state.

As with most sports, the athletes learn far more than just playing a game.

“I think all team sports require you to work with others,” Green said. “This game is very fluid so you learn to predict and adjust accordingly, adapt and read people so you can be where you need to be for your teammates.”

Whether someone is looking for a new sport or is a multi-sport athlete, a lot of skills from other sports transfer to the lacrosse field, and the benefits are similar too.

“I look for guys who have played multiple sports other than lacrosse,” Molloy said. “Lacrosse pulls skills from a lot of other sports, and having an athletic IQ is huge to being a successful lacrosse player.”

If nothing else, the benefits of participating in a team sport builds character, confidence and teaches more than athletes may realize.

“They learn a lot about themselves,” Green said. “It’s amazing to watch kids come in and not know the sport at all, and there might be some fear there because it’s new and different – but the growth that happens and watching how they start to trust themselves and gain confidence is amazing.”

As the sport continues to grow, interested athletes will find summer camps, clinics and additional teams popping up around the county.

The USA Lacrosse Experience will come to Indianapolis from October 11 to 13. Watch a game, participate in educational and training opportunities, and meet local coaches and players.

Follow the Avon Lacrosse Club on Facebook for details on upcoming clinics and other events.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest Hendricks County Stories

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Send me your media kit!

hbspt.forms.create({ portalId: "6486003", formId: "5ee2abaf-81d9-48a9-a10d-de06becaa6db" });