Bring a Men's Division 1 Lacrosse team to Creighton University
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Creighton University has a proud athletic tradition spanning over a century. Across sports such as soccer, basketball and baseball, former Bluejays have reached All-Star status in all three at the professional level, with one reaching the Baseball Hall of Fame. Yet while the school seeks to grow immensely through the opening of a new School of Dentistry and Medical Center, the athletic department seems content in supporting only one men's athletic team that plays its games on campus. As a university hoping to assert itself among the best in athletics nationally, this is simply unacceptable. Having a Division 1 men's lacrosse team in the Big East Conference would push Creighton into the next rank of intercollegiate athletics, providing prospective students, current students and alumni with one more reason to be proud of their school.
As a member of the Big East Conference, Creighton is privileged to belong to a major collegiate athletic conference, of which currently supports six men's lacrosse teams. The conference has set itself up as one of the best in the nation, with the University of Denver winning the National Championship in 2015. This membership in the Big East in other sports would mean a seemingly natural fit for adding a Creighton Lacrosse team to the conference, growing the outreach of an already powerful Big East. As shown recently with the many of the school's teams, geography would not act as a burden for the Bluejays, but as an advantage in competition. If Denver can successfully play in the Big East Conference, Creighton can as well.
In looking for a recent example of a university successfully starting a lacrosse program from the ground up, one has to look no further than Big East rival Marquette. Beginning play in in the spring of 2013, the Golden Eagles have already appeared in the NCAA Tournament, winning the Big East Tournament in 2016. Along with this immense team success, the program has furnished three Major League Lacrosse athletes in the five years since its creation. Bringing interest into the school that previously did not exist, Marquette has further diversified its appeal to high school students, adding another element to bring the best students from across the country to Milwaukee. In order to compete with our rival, Creighton should not only look at a lacrosse program as an investment from an athletic standpoint, but as another asset to gain a prospective student's interest. Personally, heading to Morrison Stadium on a Saturday night in April sounds much more appealing than staying in a dorm room all night.
Creighton already has a top notch stadium to play home to a men's lacrosse team. Sitting empty in the spring other than for a few soccer games, Morrison Stadium has the ability to welcome students and fans alike in the spring much like it does so well in the fall, drawing within the Top 5 in the nation annually in soccer attendance. Having a spring sport at Morrison would allow Creighton students the opportunity to root for the Bluejays, without the burdens that come with having to leave campus. Along with lessening the time and cost for Creighton students to root for one of their teams, minimal funds would be needed in order to house a lacrosse team, with the stadium having hosted multiple sports other than soccer in the past. Morrison Stadium is ready to become the home of Creighton Lacrosse, and would become one of the premier lacrosse stadiums in the nation.
Lacrosse in Nebraska, much like in the rest of the United States, is growing at a rapid rate. New teams are sprouting up every year due to the sport's growing popularity. Yet currently, no universities in Nebraska, or the Greater Plains area, have a Division 1 lacrosse program. The opportunity this holds for not only Creighton, but the region in general, is colossal. Creighton can become the home of lacrosse in the Plains, drawing in recruits that beforehand would have to go to schools a considerable distance away from their homes in order to play at the highest level. Aside from a recruiting standpoint, Creighton can act as a leader in the community to grow the sport, hosting youth and high school tournaments at Morrison Stadium that promote the well-being of both children and teenagers. In doing so, the school would further its following of the Jesuit principle of Cura Personalis, meaning "care for the individual person." Competition and health are integral in molding a successful young person, and lacrosse would help to do both. The current gap of lacrosse in the region is immense, meaning the possibilities for a men's lacrosse team at Creighton are enormous.
Creighton University, while academically superior to many Division 1 schools, has not yet reached its fullest ability athletically. Soccer and basketball have shown that not only the Creighton community, but the Omaha community as well, can come together in immense support of the Bluejays. While this support is wonderful, it is time to spread that support even further. A men's division 1 lacrosse team at Creighton has the potential to not only compete in the Big East Conference, but to compete a national scale. It is time for Creighton to rank among the elites in intercollegiate athletics. It is time for major lacrosse to come to the Great Plains. It is time to bring a Men's Division 1 Lacrosse team to Creighton University.
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