Madison Youth Lacrosse (MYL) has promoted lacrosse and provided the community with opportunities to become involved with and more educated about the sport for more than 25 years. It has been essential in the development of lacrosse in other towns such as Guilford, Clinton, and Killingworth.
In mid-December, US Lacrosse selected MYL as one of nine youth lacrosse programs in the country to receive the Positive Coaching Alliance Grants for 2006-2007. The grant includes a visit from the Positive Coaching Alliance official trainers, who will conduct workshops for the MYL coaches, organizational leaders, and parents. This will provide practical tools and guidelines to help MYL accomplish its goal of creating a fun and positive environment while play- ing lacrosse.
MYL received this grant largely because the program puts a higher emphasis on good character and sportsmanship than any other aspect of the game. MYL has worked closely with US Lacrosse, CONNY, the Positive Coaching Alliance, and. the Madison Sport's Alliance to promote good sportsmanship.
Every year, Daniel Hand's girls' lacrosse coach, Pat McCahill (2006 Lacrosse Coach of the Year), donates the girls' Sportsmanship Trophies. Papa Joe, the ice cream man in town and a beloved lacrosse fan, donates the boys' Sportsmanship Trophies.
Hand recently hired a new boys' lacrosse coach, Ron Chase, who has already begun to work with the MYL. "Madison Youth Lacrosse is first and foremost a feeder program to Daniel Hand Lacrosse," Chase said at the MYL and DHHS Coaches Clinic. "Working together under the same principles and philosophies will strengthen both programs."
In January, the MYL will bus students from the Polson and Brown gyms located at the Madison schools to the CT Sportsplex, where they will be coached by Chase, Yale coaches, and MYL alums who are currently playing college and high school lacrosse. There will also be guest appearances by professional lacrosse players from the Major League Lacrosse team, the NY Titans. There will be a bus trip taking lacrosse players to a NY Titans Game at Madison Square Garden later in the year.
MYL is offering a boys' refereeing certification program for Hand boys. To accompany the referring program, Chase, MYL coach Deb Paduda, and Yale Coach Clarissa Clarke will instruct boys' and girls' coaching clinics.
The MYL coaching staff is made up of parents, young adults, and high school players. MYL alums also give back to the program including Mike Anderson, Andy Drennan, Brett Stephan, Sam DeBurra, Eric Becker, Bridgette McNulty, Kyle Sellers, and Taylor Dolan. McNulty, Sellers, and Dolan all play lacrosse for Hand.