In the early 1990′s, lacrosse in Minnesota was limited to a handful of programs. That changed dramatically in 1996 thanks in large part to transplanted lacrosse enthusiast Mark Hellenack. Under Mark’s guidance, the sport began to grow with small scale youth and high school leagues.
Reaching out to the youth community, Mark brought together kids from around the metro area to compete on traveling teams and form lasting relationships. With their roots in hockey, these individuals took the road less traveled and in doing so, blazed the path for the future of lacrosse in Minnesota.
From this first “class” of lacrosse players "homegrown" in Minnesota emerged a group of individuals who represent the skill, pride and spirit of the sport. For the individuals in this group, the sport of lacrosse changed their lives by offering opportunities to attend college, travel the world and develop their leadership abilities.
And here is where our story begins...
Throughout their first year at college, Colin and Aron often connected to reflect on their East Coast experiences. It became apparent to both that the skills they were acquiring would be vital to ensure the growth of future generations of Minnesota lacrosse players.
More importantly, they each realized that the sense of ownership and community they gained during those "early pioneer days" had shaped their growth as players as well as young men - developing both character and confidence. It was a gift that they wanted to pass along to future generations of Minnesota lacrosse players
During that first summer break, Colin, Aron and other members of the '97 Chill team returned home and worked as coaches for various lacrosse camps that came to Minnesota. While these camps were helping build player's skills, their owners didn't have a sense ownership for the growth of the sport in the state.
For the foursome what was missing from these camps was the sense of community that had defined the early years of the sport in Minnesota. And it is from here that Homegrown Lacrosse was conceived.
So with connections established at college, the four who had taken that trip to Maryland six years earlier, set forth to create a lacrosse camp that would deliver on the "power and potential" they felt existed in lacrosse and that Minnesota players deserved.
Taking on the name "Homegrown Lacrosse" to represent their commitment to serving Minnesota, their first camp was held on June, 26, 2004 at Fort Snelling in St. Paul, Minn.
Over the following three summers, the Homegrown orchestrated a total of seven camps from their bases of operation in "out -of-state" dorm-rooms. With each camp, the vision and mission for Homegrown Lacrosse grew stronger and more clear.