Boylan’s First Lacrosse Season Has Smashing Start
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
April 25, 2024
ROCKFORD—Boylan Central Catholic High School’s inaugural lacrosse season is off to a sensational start. In their first home game at Titan Stadium on April 6, Boylan posted a 15-2 victory over the Geneva Vikings. “This game was held during spring break, so we were down some players, but others on the team shined; not only did we get a win, but lots of guys got playing time and their first goals,” said Boylan lacrosse coach Bob White. 
“We’re trying to make lacrosse a team effort, and out of our 15 goals, we had 12 assists. So, the guys are being unselfish with the ball and working together well,” White said.
The sport was offered as a co-ed option for Boylan students, but this year’s roster boasts an all-male team of 31 players. “Our lacrosse team has eight seniors, 14 juniors, one sophomore and eight freshmen,” said Paul Heitkamp, Boylan’s athletic director. “Practice started on Feb. 28, and most of our games will be played at the junior varsity level except for matches against Woodstock Marian and Burlington Central, who only have varsity teams.”
“We have 12 games scheduled this season from March 20 to May 8,” Heitkamp said. “Since this is our first year having a lacrosse team, we won’t be participating in the IHSA state competition because most of our matches will be at the JV level.”
Though Boylan has a large team, a majority of players will get a chance to participate in matches due to the swift pace of the game. “Lacrosse is an action-packed sport with 10 players per team on the field at one time,” Heitkamp said. “The speed of the game allows for a rapid rotation of players on and off the field during each match.”
Lacrosse players wear helmets, mouth guards, and pads similar to those worn in football and soccer.
According to, “Lacrosse is a team sport where players try to get a rubber ball into a net or goal. Players use a long stick with a net on the end of it called a lacrosse stick. They can run, carry, catch, shoot, and pass the ball with the stick's net. The lacrosse team with the most points or goals at the end of the period wins the game … The sport's nickname is "The Fastest Game on Two Feet.”
Boylan’s lacrosse team is coached by Bob White, who began playing club lacrosse while in college at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. "After school, when I moved back to Rockford, there was no lacrosse until Belvidere started a high school program in 2008. I was the first bead coach of that team and left in 2012 to found the Rockford Razorbacks Lacrosse Club. The Razorbacks field youth and high school teams with players from all over the greater Rockford area," he said. 
Though White stepped down as head coach of the Rockford Razorbacks Club lacrosse team this fall to coach at Boylan, his involvement with the Razorbacks gives him an advantage in his new role. “Around 15 (Boylan) students have played lacrosse before through the Razorbacks organization, while the rest of the team is fairly new to the sport,” White said. 
For senior Zach Tulley, playing lacrosse for Boylan “means the world” to him. “I’ve been playing since fourth grade, but it’s always been a club team in Rockford, so it’s great to finally have a school team,” he said. “I would love to see every school in the NIC-10 Conference field a lacrosse team someday.”
Junior Kent White (no relation to Coach White) said that playing lacrosse at Boylan fosters his dream of playing the sport at the collegiate level. “I’ve visited Ohio Northern University and John Carroll University to check out the schools and find out about their lacrosse teams,” he said. “There’s a lot of pride in being a part of Boylan’s lacrosse team. I like the speed and physicality of the sport.”
“It’s been a little challenging to combine the experienced players with the new players, but the team and I have been working well together teaching the basics of lacrosse to our newcomers while honing the skills of the experienced players,” White said. “During practice, we’re having full team scrimmage matches to evaluate our strengths and work on our weaknesses. The team is coming together and building cohesiveness to make this season exciting, fun and a great learning experience for all.”
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