Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

TJ Lax to the Max

Posted 04/29/2023 by Stephen LoJacono

The TJ varsity lacrosse team celebrates the sport's growing popularity. photo by Tommy Cowen

Over the past few years, TJ’s lacrosse team has been part of the growing popularity of the sport.

Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports played in America. The game of lacrosse was originally called stickball and was played in the St. Lawrence Valley region by the Algonquian Tribe in the 1630s. Over time, the game slowly spread to other tribes in the Eastern half of North America and the Western Great Lakes, according to World Lacrosse. But these lacrosse games didn’t take two hours. These games would last for days and had fields ranging from 500 yards to multiple miles. It was considered a sport that toughened up young warriors but was also played for recreation and religious reasons. Many believe these games had hundreds of players involved from both sides.

The Thomas Jefferson Boys’ Lacrosse varsity team made it to the playoffs during the 2022 season and finished with seven wins and nine losses. They reached the first round of the playoffs but lost to Conifer. This year though, the Spartans started strong with wins against Rangeview, Heritage, Pueblo West, and Smoky Hill high schools. The Spartans at the moment have a record of 5 wins and 4 losses, but over the past couple of weeks the Spartans have been on a downward slide coming into their last week of the season, and they hope to turn things around before it’s too late. TJ, along with many other schools in Colorado, plays a 15-game schedule with playoffs starting shortly after, and the boys hope to make it to playoffs for the second year in a row. But making it to the playoffs isn’t easy because only the top 24 teams in 4A and 5A leagues can extend their seasons in search of a Championship. 

Lacrosse is played across the state with a high level of competition and many players spread across schools. A school just five minutes away from TJHS, Cherry Creek High School, is ranked the second-best team in high school lacrosse in the U.S., according to Maxpreps. Senior and team captain Max Feiman has played lacrosse for most of his life and has played for TJ for all four years of high school, and he spoke about how much he has enjoyed playing the game for his school. “It’s been awesome playing with a great group of guys and going through all of the highs and lows of not just lacrosse but overall life. It’s a smaller community of lacrosse players, but I feel like it brings out so many guys and [helps] younger players that just picked up a stick a couple of months ago.” He also talked about how much he has grown as a person and a player because of his teammates and coaches. Playing high school sports makes it easier for students to connect with others, even with a unique sport like lacrosse.

Even though lacrosse is not well-regarded as a major sport around the world, the popularity? over the past couple of years has grown in the U.S. with new changes to the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL). The PLL has created new top-level teams that travel around the country, causing its popularity to skyrocket. The new owner of the league, Paul Rabil, co-founded the PLL in 2018 with his brother Mike Rabil and decided to take the league to every corner of the country. Having these games played in new locations drew in new fans of the league and the game of lacrosse, which over the past few years have made more young kids want to play lacrosse.

The TJ Boys’ Lacrosse Team hopes to end the year strong with time running out in their season. The boys are part of a generation where lacrosse is starting to blossom, and with so many new players joining the game. The Spartans hope to finish strong and make the playoffs to extend their year and bring home a state championship for the program.