Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/23/14
Ashbee Lacrosse recently celebrated its 40th anniversary for a successful boys’ youth program that traces back to efforts by the late Norm Treinish.
Ashbee was founded in 1974 by Treinish in Merion, PA. At the time, The Philadelphia Wings played in the first version of the MLL and were generating interest in the sport beyond its traditional prep-school roots. Treinish, a former college and club player, organized an informal but regular game for the kids of Merion at General Wayne Playground.
Two neighborhood pick-up teams grew into a four team league. Treinish was on the governing board of that first Wings team and arranged for sticks and equipment to be donated. The Philadelphia Youth Lacrosse League was born.
Support in the early days also came from Barry Ashbee, who was Treinish’s good friend and a former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman. Ashbee had played lacrosse in Canada as a kid and was eager to help establish the sport in the Philly area.
When Ashbee died in 1977, the league was re-named in his honor as the Barry Ashbee Lacrosse League. The former Philadelphia Flyer wore number #4 and that number to this day is a retired number in the Ashbee Lacrosse Club. As a way to honor Barry Ashbee, the official Ashbee team colors have been and continue to be Orange and Black.
By this time, the league had moved to Bala Cynwyd Junior High and was a fully formed youth organization. Treinish coached a team and oversaw league operations as the organization expanded to form its first middle-school travel team. Treinish is now in the Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame as “a truly great coach who has contributed noteworthy service to the game of lacrosse over the years in Pennsylvania.”
Norm, or “Uncle Norm” as he is affectionately called by many of his current and former players, began his association with lacrosse as a player with the Cleveland Lacrosse Club in 1957 and 1958, but he really began to leave his mark on the game when he founded Ashbee Youth Lacrosse in 1974.
The heart of Ashbee Lacrosse has always been the youth league. For 3rd-6th graders, Treinish’s goal was to give every boy a chance to play. He aimed to foster a sense of teamwork, encourage competition, and teach fundamentals.
To that end, the house league for many years had specific rules – such as no more than one player from each team on a ground ball and players must pass the ball over the midfield line – to make the game fun, fair, and enriching for all kids. Besides the house league, Ashbee now has clinic programs for 1st and 2nd graders as well as CCLA travel teams for u11, u13, and u15.
Ashbee continues to produce countless high school, college, and professional lacrosse players, many of whom actively give back to the sport and their local communities. Including recent notable alumni; All-American and recent No. 2 MLL pick Jordan Wolf and Henry Lobb of last year’s NCAA Champion Duke Blue Devils.
Information about Ashbee and how to register your youth lacrosse player for the 2014 season can be found on the Ashbee website at www.ashbeelax.org.
The Ashbee Lacrosse Club is for boys in 1st- 8th grades residing in Lower Merion Township. Ashbee offers an Instructional Program for 1st and beginning 2nd graders, House League competition for 2nd – 4th graders, and a Travel Program for 5th – 8th graders.
Tryouts for the spring season are as follows:
February 22nd, 9:30am – 4pm and and February 23rd, 9am – 11:30am, at the Shipley Fields, 829 Montgomery Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010