New sport, derived from Indian game, growing popular in county
Lacrosse, the oldest organized sport in America, was used by the Iroquois Indians as training for war years before Columbus hove into sight. As a modern college sport the game is played by two teams of ten men each on an open field 100 yards long. Using a stick or “crosse” that has a kind of net on the end, the players catch and pass the ball, each team trying to carry it past opposing players to the goal at the end of the field.
Recently, in the eastern United States and certain parts of Canada a modification of the college field sport has sprung up under the name of “box lacrosse.” Every Wednesday evening the “box” at Rutgers and Strath Haven avenues in Swarthmore is the scene of an Eastern Box Lacrosse League game. Included in the League so far are three teams, the Swarthmore Indians, the Chester Comets, and the Philadelphia Lacrosse Club. Teams are made up largely of former college stars, present luminaries, and up-and-coming school boys who step right from the spring field lacrosse season into summer box lacrosse. Nearly all had a hand in the construction of the box, the only one the league has ever had (although it has been moved several times), and therefore the scene of all games and practices.
Box lacrosse is played with six men on a team, with a smaller field and goals than in regulation college sport. The game received its impetus and support in this area largely because of the interest and effort of Porter Waite, Swarthmore garage owner and noted ice hockey player. Avery Blake, coach of the Swarthmore College team and of the All-America Lacrosse team that toured England several years ago, has been chiefly responsible for the success of the League during the present season. He serves as manager of the Swarthmore Indians. Marshall Gatchell (of Hedgerow Theatre fame) manages the Chester Comets and playe[d] goalie for them. Jake Edel, former Penn State star, manages the Philadelphia L.C. team. Many former college captains and All-American field lacrosse players are included in the lineup.
The Advocate photographer dropped in on a regular Sunday morning practice session in order to get close action shots of the players, who, belying their fearsome appearances, apologized for informal attire.
(The Delaware County Advocate, July 1939)