California Junior College Lacrosse Association Created

Santa Rosa, California April 24 2013 - The growth of lacrosse continues to boom throughout the state of California and junior colleges are no exception. Set to begin in the fall of 2013, California junior college men's lacrosse clubs are invited to compete under one umbrella within the California Junior College Lacrosse Association (CJCLA).

The CJCLA is dedicated to expanding junior college lacrosse opportunities for the student-athletes of California. Membership in the CJCLA is open to any California junior college lacrosse program that is officially recognized as a student club by their institution. The mission of the CJCLA is to provide new program assistance, student-athlete eligibility requirements, administering of individual awards and accolades for players, and hosting of the CJCLA Championship Tournament at the conclusion of the regular season.

"I am very passionate about the junior college athletics mission," said Matt Blamey, president of the CJCLA and current defensive coordinator at Sonoma State University. Prior to relocating to California, Blamey was the founder and first head coach at Northern Virginia Community College, the first junior college program in the state of Virginia. "There is a huge demand in California for high-level lacrosse at the junior college level. We are working hard to create the foundation and follow the lead of Diablo Valley College. In a very short time, the dominoes will fall," continued Blamey, "we will see competitive JUCO lacrosse programs all over the state."

Diablo Valley College (DVC) was the first junior college lacrosse program in California and has set the standard. DVC is a model program and the CJCLA is working to provide new programs with that same model.

Terry Armstrong, DVC's club advisor and author of "The Case for Club Lacrosse in California Community Colleges" (Issue 31 of the ijournal: Insight into Student Services) is thrilled with what the CJCLA will be able to offer budding programs:

"The establishment of the CJCLA brings to fruition the vision of the inaugural player leadership of the Viking Lacrosse club at DVC, who in 2008 believed that if they could persist and demonstrate the feasibility of lacrosse at DVC, that lacrosse players from community colleges throughout the state would be given the hope and inspiration they would need to start intercollegiate lacrosse clubs at their respective institutions.

"With the CJCLA providing the technical assistance, encouragement and statewide leadership, it will be easier than ever for student athletes at other colleges to start club lacrosse programs at their colleges. As DVC has demonstrated throughout its five years of existence, community colleges have very talented lacrosse players, the preponderance of whom will compete at either the NCAA or Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) levels. The commencement of the CJCLA is likely to be remembered as the most important step in raising the quality of west coast collegiate lacrosse since the creation of the MCLA."

Along with DVC, first-year programs American River College and Santa Rosa Junior College are slated to be inaugural members of the CJCLA. Other JUCO institutions, such as Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo and San Diego Miramar, have expressed interest and have actively sought advice and counsel from CJCLA board members.

The primary goal of the CJCLA is to give junior college players a virtual-varsity athletic experience during their junior college years and assist those same student-athletes in fulfilling their dreams of moving on to the 4-year institution of their choice. By providing student-athletes with a regular-season structure, championship tournament, and individual accolades, the CJCLA will give junior college student-athletes an opportunity to continue to compete in the sport that they love while furthering their education.

The official CJCLA season will run during the fall semester, with the first CJCLA championship weekend to be held in December 2013 at Diablo Valley College in Concord, CA. More information will be posted to the CJCLA web site (www.cjcla.org) as details are made available. Any interested prospective CJCLA programs are encouraged to contact the CJCLA board directly at info@cjcla.org.

2013-04-29



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