Andersen Air Force Base, Guam --
The fastest growing U.S. sport, according to the Boston Globe, has finally made its debut in Guam with the Black Tips lacrosse team.
Players from different military branches have come together to train and represent Guam lacrosse in tournaments across the globe and the Indo-Asian-Pacific region.
Lacrosse has a historic background in the America’s, originating in Eastern North America by the Native American Algonquian tribe and later adapted into the fast paced game that is played today. Lacrosse is a team sport that can be played by anyone regardless of size or gender and rewards agility as well as brawn.
“I have been playing lacrosse since I was 7-years-old,” said Daniel Scarola, a criminal investigator with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 602. “When I got to Andersen and there was no team I knew it was my job to find other players who are passionate about the game. I have played lacrosse throughout my military career in Iraq, Arkansas and Germany and wanted to bring the game to Guam.”
As a result of the Black Tips presence, lacrosse is growing everyday on Guam and the team hopes to inspire and bring out as many people from the base and community as possible, said Scarola. Many have never heard about the game or been given the opportunity to play, but with the help of donations and fundraisers, the team has been able to market themselves and give those interested a chance to play.
“The Black Tips is mainly people who have played lacrosse before,” said Scarola. “As the program grows, we hope to gain interest from the community and others who may want to start playing as well.”
Most members of the Black Tips have a military connection, and the rigorous training has been beneficial in increasing physical standards and overall health of those who play, said Travis Ringer, a group reservation supervisor with the 36th Force Support Squadron. Ringer uses his knowledge of common lacrosse exercises and adapts them for use in unit physical training.
“Lacrosse is the fastest game on two feet,” said Ringer. “The pace is constant and you always have to push yourself to go faster and harder. Physical fitness is very important to me so training for lacrosse helps me and my family live a healthy lifestyle.”
Lacrosse is a large part of Ringer’s life, as well as spending time with his family. Whenever the opportunity comes to combine the two, Ringer is more than happy to involve his family with lacrosse.
“My son played lacrosse in Okinawa,” said Ringer. “Lacrosse is very family oriented and has been passed down through the generations. It is something we can all come to together to play or watch and share moments as a family.”
The Black Tips team will be traveling to Hong Kong to compete alongside players from Australia and Japan for a tournament on April 29, 2017. The opportunity to travel and represent Guam on a global scale is something members of the team are proud of and have worked very hard for, said Scarola.