Christopher Saul

Christopher Saul

Mid Bay News

Lacrosse is a sport growing rapidly in the south, especially here in Niceville, Florida. The Niceville Eagles High School Lacrosse Team happens to be one of the best teams in the western panhandle, and they sit at 6-1 after a win Tuesday against Navarre.

But, if you ask the families of the 14-and-under-crowd who play lacrosse for the club in town – that’s not what makes this team special.

It’s kids like Marek Albiero and his friends. Marek plays lacrosse pretty well.

He is the Eagle with the most points on the year so far, 19 goals and 18 assists. More now that they’ve played Navarre.

The Niceville High School senior has interest from college programs – and just came off a very intense week that featured an overtime win and an overtime loss.

You couldn’t blame him if he wanted to take last weekend to relax.

Instead – he was at the Eagles practice field, training the next crop of Niceville Eagles – like Joey.

“I like teaching kids about lacrosse. It also helps me get better as a player,” Albiero said, “Preparing them for high school. These kids are young now – so we want to get them ahead in their teams and leagues. We want to build the program and build the feeder program and teach some new kids the sport.”

The program is the brainchild of Niceville’s assistant coach John Dussault. He says it builds a relationship between the younger and older players, teaches leadership and improves the skills of both players.

“I brought this program not only for the youth in our community but also for the high schoolers,” Dussault said, “The fact is that some of them don’t know how to lead at this age. The leadership qualities and abilities that they get from this program are astonishing.”

Players who mentor have to have a certain GPA, display good character, have some basic leadership skills, maturity, responsibility and produce results on the field for the Eagles.

Moms of the younger kids in the program, like Aireka Aikens, say that the program is a little piece of what makes Niceville a great place to live. The program also teaches her son to build a better world around him.”


MORE Lacrosse



Boy prepares to shoot a lacrosse ball



“It’s huge. I think it gives him a future picture of him saying “that could be me one day,” Aikens said, “Also, it has him saying ‘I have this mentorship growing up and once I get in their shoes, I can be that mentor to somebody else in the youth program.”

The Eagles host an excellent team from Leon High School this weekend – if you are looking to learn a little more about lacrosse – or just enjoy a competitive match, this is an excellent opportunity to see both.


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