Men's Lacrosse S.C. State House Visit
The national champions are headed back to Columbia.
In what has become a bit of a habit for the Saints, the Limestone College men’s lacrosse team has once again been invited to the South Carolina State House after capturing the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championship.
The Saints of head coach J.B. Clarke will be recognized in the chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday, February 8. The team is also expected to meet with S.C. Lieutenant Governor Kevin Bryant.
Limestone won the 2017 national title on May 28 by knocking off Merrimack College 11-9 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. That marked the Saints’ third national championship in four years and their fifth overall.
The squad’s first invitation to visit the State House came after Limestone defeated LIU Post 12-6 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD, in 2014. The Saints received their second invitation after winning the 2015 national title by beating Le Moyne College 9-6 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA.
“It certainly never gets old to get invited to the State House,” Clarke said. “We appreciate so much the invitation to go back down to Columbia. Our most recent national championship again provided our state, Cherokee County, the City of Gaffney, and the College with a tremendous amount of positive exposure and we’re very proud of that.”
The Limestone players and coaches will take a private tour of the capitol building, have a team photo taken on the steps of the State House, and will then be recognized on the floors of the Senate and the House of Representatives. On behalf of Governor Henry McMaster, the team will also be greeted by one of his staff members Tommy Windsor, and then by Lieutenant Governor Bryant. Governor McMaster will not be at the State House on the day of the visit.
Sen. Harvey Peeler’s office is coordinating the visit by the national champions, and he will host the Saints on the floor of the Senate. Rep. Dennis Moss, Rep. Steve Moss, Rep. Eddie Tallon, and Rep. Gary Clary will host the Limestone contingent in the House. The legislators will also enjoy a catered lunch with the group from Limestone inside the State House’s Blatt Building, which houses offices for members of the House of Representatives.
“Just like before in Baltimore and Philadelphia, our players walked out onto the field in Foxborough holding both the South Carolina and American flags,” Clarke noted. “Saints fans were waving the Palmetto State flag all around the Boston area last May. It was incredible national publicity for our school and our state. We have been fortunate enough to play for the national championship in each of the last four years, with well over 20,000 fans in attendance at each of those games. Being invited to the State House for the third time is very special to us and we certainly appreciate it.”
Limestone has participated in 11 national championship games since lacrosse was added as a sport 27 years ago. Limestone was the first college in South Carolina to add lacrosse as an official intercollegiate sport.
The blue and gold Limestone flag flew over South Carolina’s Capitol Dome on June 1, 2017, in honor of the Saints’ most recent national championship. With assistance from the office of Sen. Peeler, the office of Governor McMaster approved the flying of the Limestone flag after the Limestone College Communications Office made the request.
“Limestone men’s lacrosse has been a tremendous ambassador for South Carolina and has brought our College unprecedented exposure,” said Limestone President Dr. Darrell Parker. “I look forward to being there as our fine young men, coaches, and staff members are recognized for this remarkable accomplishment.”