CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - The fastest growing high school sport in the country is finally gaining momentum in Pinellas County.
Pinellas is the only major county in the Bay Area that doesn't have lacrosse sanctioned in public school.
"We're the last of the Mohicans here, so we need to get this done," says Paul Metzheiser, chair of the Pinellas Lacrosse Alliance.
After years of pleading from players and families, the Pinellas County School Board has finally committed some funding needed to start lacrosse teams at four high schools; St. Petersburg, East Lake, Palm Harbor, and Clearwater High.
But the players have got to come up with the rest. And right now, they're about $30,000 short with a deadline approaching.
"It's only start-up money, so we won't need to raise this money every year," says Metzheiser. "But to start the teams, we need funding for the uniforms, the equipment, the referees, stipends for the coaches, even support within each of the schools as well," he tells FOX 13.
For players like Jackson Day, a senior at East Lake High School, lacrosse has been a lifesaver.
"I started out as a football player and I got hit so much, I was kinda done gettin' hit," Day says.
And after a few years of lacrosse, he's also found a future. He's accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Tampa next fall.
"There are so many lacrosse scholarship opportunities these days for boys and girls," he says.
But their clock is ticking.
A school board imposed a deadline to raise the funds by December 7. They're reaching out to businesses, they have a fundraiser planned this weekend and a GoFundMe page.
You can learn more about their efforts at https://pc4lax.org.