Griz Lax Gaining Popularity - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Griz Lax Gaining Popularity

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The Montana Lacrosse team is preparing for their last three games of the regular season.  They're currently 6-6 and with all three games at home in Washington Grizzly Stadium, they're hoping the playoffs are on the horizon.

"Top four teams in our conference go to playoffs and then if you can win conference you can go to nationals, so as long as we stay in the top four we can make a run in our conference tournament and make it to nationals," said Head Coach Tucker Sargent.

The Griz lacrosse team plays in the Division 1 of the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association. They're a club sport, so not fully funded by the university, but have continued to grow as a program over the last decade.

"It's grown quite a bit back in the day in the early 90's it's definitely a club sport the kids are here to play lacrosse and the whole league in general has become a lot more competitive," said Sargent.

The Griz team is made up of kids from all over the country with only one actually being from the state of Montana.  They're trying to build the brand of Montana Lacrosse and one way they've done that is by playing their home games at Washington Grizzly Stadium.

"When I was a freshman we were maybe only having one game in the stadium the rest were out on this field and now my junior year we are getting 200 fans to the stadium and playing every game in the stadium and under the lights which is a great experience," said Junior Andrew Wenzl.

"That's one of my biggest issues is just building the brand of Montana Lacrosse especially in the community of Missoula. There's been a to of youth development in the sport and I want kids to say that they want to play for the Griz one day," said Sargent.

"As the sport of Lacrosse grows in the state of Montana with youth programs and everything like that it's growing and it helps us grow at the same time," said Senior Goalie Hank Vieten.

While they won't be mistaken for Griz football players, the guys say they've enjoyed gaining a fan base and getting some recognition.

"It's awesome because now I will go to a friend's house or go downtown and see someone and they recognize who you are because we are getting our posters out there and a lot of people are started to recognize us and know who we are because of the name across our chest so it's getting pretty nice," said Wenzl.

The Griz next play Oregon State at home on Sunday at noon in Washington Grizzly Stadium.

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