Want to coach lacrosse? Call Kearny Rec

Anybody interested in coaching lacrosse in Kearny?

Contact the Town of Kearny’s municipal recreation program right away.

Local Rec Director Ralph Cattafi said last week, “I need someone with experience to get this program off the ground. That’s been my intention for the past two years.”

Back in March 2016 when the town completed a turf makeover of Veteran’s Memorial Field along Belgrove Drive, the contractor — at the town’s behest — embedded white lines outlining the dimensions of a lacrosse field in the artificial surface overlapping another playing area.

This was to be the location mapped out by Cattafi for the ultimate introduction of the sport in Kearny.

That has yet to happen.

Cattafi insisted it’s not for lack of trying.

He said he’s reached out to many area school districts and colleges — all, so far, without success — in hopes of landing someone suitable for the position.

Once he does find that individual, though, the rec chief has no doubt that there is sufficient interest in the community to support the sport as part of a rec program.

“It’s a growing sport,” he said. “Jersey City Rec has it. It’s at Nutley High School. Lyndhurst has it for at least sixth-grade and up — I know that because a boy who plays for Kearny Rec travel teams also plays lacrosse there.

“I want to bring it here very bad.”

Cattafi envisions starting up the program with boys and girls in grades 5 through 8, “with the hope of leading to younger kids participating in the future.”

He said he would need “at least 20 to 25” youngsters to begin with. “That would give us enough for at least two teams. And we’d start with basic instruction in playing the game.”

The director said he’d find a way to pay for equipment and uniforms “out of my rec budget,” although he has yet to project what the program would cost to run.

“We’d play during the spring,” he said.

Although he hasn’t yet reached out to Kearny public school officials to see if they would have any inclination to launch a dual lacrosse recruitment effort, Cattafi said he would look into that possibility in future conversations with Vincent Almeida, Kearny High School athletic director.

Kearny’s new municipal administrator, Robert J. Smith, was an assistant coach of the boys’ lacrosse team in Washington Township during prior government service in Gloucester County and Cattafi said he did approach Smith about considering extending his duties to the Rec program but he respectfully declined, given his other responsibilities.

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