youth lacrosse program in scarborough maine, team building, lacrosse skill, travel lacrosse, state champions

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Welcome, Nichemis and Philosophy & Rules
by posted 04/25/2021

Welcome to Scarborough Youth Lacrosse!


Scarborough Youth Lacrosse (SYL) is a volunteer, non-profit organization that exists to offer positive athletic experiences to Scarborough boys and girls in grades K-8.  Our focus is on teaching sound lacrosse fundamentals, techniques, and skill development.  Our goals are to:

  • provide opportunities for young athletes interested in playing lacrosse, 
  • to expand the sport of lacrosse in Maine,
  • and above all, to provide the youth of Scarborough with a vehicle for learning the joys and values of hard work, fair play, and team dynamics through athletics.



We teach the NICHEMIS philosophy to all our players expecting they will learn that they have an opportunity and responsibility to give back their knowledge, enthusiasm, and lessons learned from the game to younger players.  The spirit of NICHEMIS:

  • giving time and effort selflessly to others,
  • giving back ot the community and the game of lacrosse,
  • being role models and mentors to younger players.
  • Long before lacrosse was played by today's athletes, the local Native American Abenaki tribe played lacrosse in "Owascoag, the land of tall grass," which is the area we now call Scarborough.  


The Abenaki's word NICHEMIS translates as "little brother," "little sister," or "younger than I."  NICHEMIS is embraced as a tribute to the "Creators Game" and to the history of the game of lacrosse.


NICHEMIS in action in Scarborough:

Many graduates of the program are back to coach teams.  Many former players currently in college are reaching back to assist the teams.  Out high school coaches and athletes take great joy in attending, leading and engaging their "little brothers and little sisters" at SYL Kick-off (when we can have it), Learn to Lax, helping during youth practices, games and as referees for youth games.  You will see the High School players at your child's practices helping to teach them the game. They do it, not because they are told too, but because they want too.... NICHEMIS.



SYL Philosophy and Rules

Scarborough Youth Lacrosse (SYL) believes in the development of all players, regardless of size, ability or skill level.  Safety, a positive team experience, and kids having a great time exercising are our top priorities.  We are not coaching for wins.  For that reason:

  • All SYL teams are created to be evenly weighted.
  • Playing time is equal through 6th grade.  Players will be moved through different positions to gain experience.
  • Behavioral, safety and / or disrespect issues to coaches, officials, teammates or competitors WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
  • We do not move players up to different levels because of skill level.  Players will play with their grade based teams.



We place great emphasis and value on always keeping a positive attitude and respecting your teammates, opponents, and referees, no matter what the score.  Poor sportsmanship is not acceptable.  Our goal is to develop the skills, discipline, and attitude that will help our players succeed later in life.  We will shake hands with the opposing team and each player will personally thank the ref for a good game after each game.  



Players are expected to attend all games and practices.  Practices are as important as games.  Please call or email the coach at least 24 hours before practice or games if the player is going to be absent.  Players are not penalized for missing practices or games.  Playing time remains equal - unless the player is unable to adhere to the sportsmanship requirements.



Players should be fully dressed, on the field and ready to play - on time.  This means they should arrive early to practice to get dressed - typically 10 minutes before practice start time and 30 minutes before game time is sufficient.  



The first 'rule' of SYL is 'have fun' the second rule is 'respect.'  At practices, coaches will as the questions: "What's the first rule of SYL?"  And the players will respond together - "have fun."  Then the coaches ask: "What's the second rule of SYL?" and the players will respond together "respect."  Coaches: "For who?"  And the players will call out: "the refs, the coaches, our teammates, our parents, our teachers, the other team," etc.  


The third rule of SYL is for the coaches: "Talk less, play more."  We have found that less time getting talked to as a team/group and more time playing and coaching skills to a player one-on-one is much more effective.  



We hold you to the highest standards.  Help us to demonstrate the best behavior on the sidelines.  Please remember:

  • RELAX and Enjoy!  These are children.  We guarantee no recruiting, and no scholarships this season.  
  • It is important that your child makes mistakes, as part of the learning and development process.
  • It is important that your child hears and listens to 1 VOICE while they are on the field, which is the COACH.
  • Cheer good plays - FOR BOTH SIDES - with positive encouragement, not instructions - please let the coaches, coach.


If you have any concerns, please see one of your child's coaches.  The SYL board members are available to address your concerns as well.  Please help us to have another great season, by setting a good example on the sidelines.


Steve Strout - President, 56 B Coach

Stephanie Leonhartt - Vice President, Girls Coordinator, 56 G Head Coach

Dave Whitaker - Treasurer, 78 B Parent

Allie Edmunds - Secretary, K2G, 34G and 56B Team Coordinator

Marc Smith - Boys Coordinator, (Vice President), K2 G and 56 B Head Coach

Our coordinators alternate years as VP. 

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