Bloomingdale Bears seeking new players for lacross team

  • The Bloomingdale Bears lacrosse team practicing for the upcoming season.

    The Bloomingdale Bears lacrosse team practicing for the upcoming season. Photo courtesy of Sanjay Merchant

Updated 4/22/2021 7:37 PM

The Bloomingdale Athletic Club is seeking new players for the inaugural season of its Bloomingdale Bears lacrosse team.

Players of all experience levels are sought for three teams consisting of kindergarten through sixth-graders. Practices are underway at Leslie Park with games scheduled between May 3 and June 13 for the Illinois Boys Lacrosse Association season.


Registration fees are $250, which include eight games for the regular season, the playoffs and an all-star game.

Kindergarten to second-graders will have their equipment provided for free, thanks to a $6,000 grant from US Lacrosse. Older players will have to buy their equipment.

Head coordinator Sanjay Merchant has been recruiting since January from what he calls a lacrosse "dead zone" in the area.

So far, more than 40 children have signed up, but that is still short of expectations, which Merchant attributes to the pandemic. The team had to cut a potential seventh-and-eighth-grade roster as a result.

"I fully expect lacrosse to be big in our area and the problem will soon be having too many kids instead of not enough of them," Merchant says. "Seeing 40 kids is still a great turnout for a first-time team."

Merchant is a professor teaching philosophy and theology at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He grew up playing the sport in high school and college in Orange County, California, and has two sons who play lacrosse in eighth grade and as a senior in high school.

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Merchant says that the sport's physicality and learning curve kept him coming back and keeps others coming back to it, as well.

"Just like football or soccer, fighting for the ball is physical and rewarding," Merchant says.

Players seeking to register can go to or email

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