HELENA — Helena’s East and West lacrosse teams kicked off their season in their crosstown match-up Thursday.
Helena’s West team’s players all come from Helena Capital High School. The East team is made up of students from Helena High, East Helena, Jefferson County, and Broadwater County.
Since lacrosse is not an MHSA sanctioned sport, they all play through Last Chance Lacrosse Club, which is part of the Montana High School Lacrosse Association. The club had its start about six years ago after breaking off from the Helena Youth Lacrosse Association.
The club is run completely by volunteers.
Ethan Guge, a player on Helena’s East team, and his family helped start the club.
“I started playing lacrosse because soccer wasn’t my thing and we ended up going to Missoula three times a week to play lacrosse and after that year we decided to start lacrosse here,” he said.
Being on the East team, he enjoys having the opportunity to play with students from other schools.
“Playing with kids from Jefferson High and East Helena High, they mix in well. And because we’ve known them for a while, we’ve played lacrosse together for a while. But, they're not kids you see everyday like the other kids so having them on the team, they play a big role, each of them,” he said.
Cole Soper plays for the club’s West team, and plays football at Capital. As a senior, he is not new to crosstown events.
“So it’s definitely different because crosstown football is a lot, I guess, probably meaner. We’ve all played together since we were little so it’s going to be a little bit more of a friendly game for sure,” he said.
West went on to defeat East 14-8. Soper is confident in his team this season.
“We feel pretty good. We, last year didn’t have any seniors so we’re returning all of our starters this year, got one new freshman, we feel pretty good about our season.”
The two teams will continue their season traveling all over Montana for games as well as to Cody, Wyoming.