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History of FHC Lacrosse


Forest Hills lacrosse originally started in the mid 1980’s.  Jamie Engel and his family are credited with starting the program within the district.  Dr. Engels a graduate of Notre Dame university played on the Irish lacrosse team.  After graduation he returned home to find that East Grand Rapids had already established a program.  Thus, the need for another program in West Michigan was evident.

Along with East Grand Rapids, the Forest Hills team started to play teams around Michigan (especially the Detroit area) and often found themselves traveling throughout the Great Lakes Region to find opponents.

Since the 1980’s there have been hundreds of lacrosse players, parents, coaches, and volunteers through the program...student-athletes from Forest Hills Central and Northern combined to make up the original teams. The Forest Hills cooperative team even claimed a Division B Club State Championship in 1990.  There are so many community members that deserve recognition for helping to foster lacrosse in Forest Hills...it was truly a community effort.

In 2005 the Michigan High School Athletic Association began to sanction lacrosse in the state of Michigan.  The undeniable growth led to numerous schools adding teams, therefore leading to change throughout the state and within Forest Hills.

In 2007 the growth of the sport within Forest Hills had become so tremendous that it was necessary to have two varsity teams.  With the help and guidance of Athletic Directors: Tom Walters, John Dolce and Clark Udell the Forest Hills Central and Forest Hills Northern/Eastern teams formed.  The two teams did not play each other in their inaugural seasons, but both were very successful in their own right.  Forest Hills Northern Eastern won the conference championship in the Tier 2 division of the West Michigan Lacrosse Conference. Forest Hills Central won the MHSAA Regional Championship and was a member of the state final four.

The two teams started their friendly rivalry on March 27th, 2008.  Amongst the snow, the highly competitive game went to the team from Central, 10-6.  With the conpletion of that game the two coaches (Tony Quinn FHC and Jake Heglund FHN/E) decided to establish a perpetual trophy. The KING of THE HILLS trophy is in possession of the team who is victorious.  It was created by Andrew Smith (FHC 2009) and Industrial Arts teacher, George Dykstra. The trophy, displayed with great pride, by the team that becomes "The King of the Hill."
(See "Rivalry Games" page for other key games)