Expansion is something that is always on our mind here, and it is definitely something a few Omaha-based teams would like to see as well. Not only do additional teams allow for more game opportunities when opponents they travel to Des Moines, they also represent growth itself. More importantly, additional teams in the metro provide opportunities for weeknight games and local rivalries.*
As expected, the West Des Moines School District has strong representation in the Youth Program. The fields are in West Des Moines and word spread through the district’s middle schools this spring. Waukee also has fair representation in the program, which makes sense given that quite a few Tigers actually attend school in the even-further-west suburb. But I have already worked up a Waukee expansion post…
One of the most surprising things I saw as I looked over the registration list was the sheer number of kids from the western side of the City of Des Moines. Not quite into the suburbs and still in the Des Moines Public Schools district, there are almost enough kids within the boundaries of a single high school to launch a second team in the metro utilizing its name and colors. Further, a pair of juniors from this school attended a couple of Valley practices this spring; both expressed interest in starting a club at their high school and know of other upperclassmen that have some interest as well.
That school? Theodore Roosevelt.
Situated not too far from Drake University, Roosevelt boasts alumni like Ben Silbermann, Lolo Jones, and Cloris Leachman. In terms of age (1923) and enrollment (1654), Roosevelt is the middle child of DMPS. Roosevelt has a strong athletics history and is always one of the best “City” teams during the soccer, football, and basketball seasons. Surrounded by some of the oldest and most affluent neighborhoods within the city limits, the financial capabilities to support a club sport like lacrosse.
But enough background information…
This journey into Fantasy Land begins with the team’s lacrosse helmet. When I was in high school (at a rival school), I thought that Roosevelt would be wise to model their football team’s look after Penn State. The simple white helmet, navy jersey, white pants look is timeless and classy. No logo on the helmet works for the Nittany Lions and I always thought that it would for the Rough Riders too.
While I still love that look, it just does not seem right for a Roosevelt lacrosse club. Even though this looks good:
Maybe it’s just that I am burned out on the white helmet look… Maybe it’s because white helmets scream sporting goods store stock item… Or maybe it is because white helmets recall deep roots, strong history, and longstanding traditions. Regardless, this is a new club and it deserves a contemporary look.
Navy and white are the school’s official colors, so the choice was simple. The back panel would be a white strip with “Rough Riders” in blue/transparent. Blank sides would work with this look, but the school’s traditional R could easily find its way onto the helmet. But I would be in favor of considering a stylized version of this:Before getting into the jerseys, I wanted to spot light the side inserts. Using the same Warrior Lacrosse sublimation templates that have been available for a few years, I was limited in my options. Wanting to keep the uniform confined to two colors, my options for the side insert were severely limited. I toyed with adding silver and/or light blue in various patterns (including stars), but both detracted from the look I was going for. Solid inserts made the uniform look too stock. Finally I tried something a bit different.
A solid insert with the team’s nickname managed to help me meet my dual goals of simplicity and uniqueness. Collegiate font seemed to fit with the classic look I sought and the ability to do a double outline allowed for a more complex look than simple white letters.
The navy jersey gets a two tone collar with a navy stripe up top to help keep the neckline from showing too much grime. The placard features the school’s R logo in the same double outline as the rest of the jersey’s text. Since Roosevelt is a longish name, I opted to give it a slight arch over the curvy numbers.
The collar is a much simpler solid navy on the white jersey. Everything else, including the R logo on the placard, carries over from the navy jersey. Having only two colors makes this a simple inversion.
Many of the jerseys’ themes are repeated on the shorts. While a white pair could also be in the works, the navy shorts would be the primary look. Combined with navy gloves, the overall look would create a strong identity for the Rough Riders.
Although Roosevelt is not too far from Valley, geographically, adding a lacrosse team would still signify expansion in the city proper. While not strong rivals in other sports, the lacrosse teams could instantly build their own legacy as the first two teams in the city while helping the sport expand around them. Who knows, perhaps the addition of Roosevelt would lead to Dowling Catholic – which sits midway between Roosevelt and Valley – to pursue their own team…
–Living In a Fantasy Land Series–
*Granted there is more to the equation than simply adding another team. Both coaches and officials need to be added before this can become a reality. Then again, this series is called “Living in a Fantasy Land…”