RENO, Nev. -- At first glance, there may not seem like much of a connection between a snowy day on Mt. Rose, the Galena Grizzlies lacrosse program, and Meadowood Mall. But a chance meeting on a chairlift between Galena parent Colleen Wanty and the president of the cooperation that owns Meadowood Mall proves otherwise.
"As you can see, we’re here," said Wanty. "It’s great. They’ve made 70 kids of the Galena girls and boys lacrosse teams pretty happy."
Wanty knew that the old Sports Authority store was vacant, and asked if it would possible for the teams to practice there. The space is perfect since it used to be a hockey rink and doesn’t have many columns.
Before they knew it, the Galena Grizzlies became Meadowood's newest tenant.
"For lacrosse, the fact that it’s such a large space for an indoor space is unusual," said Galena girls lacrosse coach Diana Hopper. "It works for any kind of a practice we would normally run outside."
"It’s fantastic because we’ve got a whole wall right here that is all bricks so that’s perfect for wall balling. We’re hitting the wall everyday which is super important for stick skills," said Wright, a Denver University lacrosse commit. "Then there’s all this space with carpet so that we don’t slip. In the other lax warehouses, the lax mall, we were slipping all over the place and getting hurt."
Having the facility also certainly gives the teams a competitive advantage.
"It’s huge. It’s absolutely huge. I was honestly feeling like we’re cheating just a tad," Hopper said with a laugh.
In an ironic twist, the weather that Galena was trying to escape, actually brought together the two people that found them their new home.