This weekend brings with it the 2nd annual Salt Shakerz Invitational lacrosse Tournament. The Shakerz are very excited to host 16 elite men’s teams for the Invitational, which will once again be held on Randall’s Island, in the most excellent New York City. One point of interest that will be worth following, the Shakerz have brought back the Dive! It will be interesting to see how players adjust back to the old rule.
VERY importantly, like last year’s tournament, a portion of the proceeds from the 2012 SSZ Invitational will be donated to benefit the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer!
Even if you’re not coming out to play, you can still meet up with the tournament on Saturday night at Mad River Bar & Grille, on 3rd Ave btwn 81st and 82nd street, where there will be great food & drink specials throughout the day and highlights from Saturday’s on-field lacrosse action will be played on the bar’s TVs throughout the night!! (I bet you’ve never seen that before – club lacrosse on TV?!?!?)
First a little background on the Shakerz, then some tourney info, and we’ll finish up with a division by division tournament preview, detailing each team’s chances this weekend!
Get To Know The Salt Shakerz
The Salt Shakerz Lacrosse club is a post-collegiate traveling lacrosse team originating out of the New York City metro area. The Shakerz came together in the fall of 2008 and are a competitive team of good guys both on and off the field. The club is particularly focused on raising both funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer.
The Shakerz pursue this effort through the Pink jerseys and equipment that the team wears to bring attention to the cause, and also through various fundraisers that are held throughout the year, including the Salt Shakerz’ Invitational, which is held every summer on Randall’s Island in New York City. The name ‘Salt Shakerz’ is derived from the expression; ‘Pass the Salt’—or in Lacrosse (“Lax”) vernacular ‘keep it hot,’ ‘Spin it,’ or ‘one more’ – find the open man.
The nickname pays homage to what the club likes to embody: unselfish and tasty play. Obviously everyone wants to win when playing sports, but for this group, no one player has been bigger than the team or the club’s cause. That being said, the Salt Shakerz’ roster often includes current and former MLL, NLL, and LXM Pro Players. The Shakerz rotate playing in various tournaments based on the event and geography.
2012 SSZ Invitational Key Information:
It’s a 16 team Men’s Elite Lacrosse tournament involving some of the best players the sport has to offer.
Round robin “Borough” play begins on Saturday June 30, 2012 and the Playoffs/Championships are held on Sunday July 1, 2012.
All games are played on Randalls Island, New York City. Fields 70 and 72-75.
The proceeds from the 2012 Salt Shakerz Invitational will be donated to benefit the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer! The initial Salt Shakerz Invitational, held in June of 2011, raised $4,000 toward the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. The Shakerz are hoping to exceed that sum in 2012!
Group or “Borough” Previews!
Salt Shakerz -Team Lax Often - Since this is the Salt Shakerz’ tournament, the club is fielding two teams. In a cool twist, the teams are being formed via a draft that will be held on Friday night at the Salt Shakerz’ first annual team awards dinner/draft, which is being held at Mad River Bar & Grille, the official bar & restaurant of the tournament and the home for the tournament party on Saturday night. The captains of the two Shakerz’ squads will be Mark Powers (Lax Often) and Justin Koronis (Pass the Salt), who are also members of the tournament committee.
Diablos - First year participant. The Diablos are run by Mynor Mazariegos and they are looking forward to competing for the championship. The team is based out of Westchester County, NY and is looking to expand its tournament lineup. In fact, the club is hosting a lacrosse tournament of its own later in the summer (July 14th) in order to benefit the lacrosse program at Jamaica High School in Queens, NY.
Brooklyn Lacrosse Club - The defending champs are loaded for bear and hungry to repeat in 2012! Brooklyn is a longtime member of the ALL and the squad has really improved in recent years as savvy veterans have mixed seemlessly with some exciting new recruits. Doesn’t hurt that lacrosse legend Chris Massey has been known to ball w/ the squad in the past.
Hustle Lax - Another first year participant. The Shakerz played against Hustle at last year’s Ocean City, MD tournament and had a great game against them. Hustle Lax, based out of New Jersey, should be very competitive and it will be interesting to see the Jerz lax style in NYC.
Brooklyn Dodgers - First year participant. The Dodgers are a relatively new squad that’s a testament to the game’s growth in and around NYC. The Dodgers aquitted themselves well in the Ulax winter box league, losing a competitive game in the finals. The squad is run by Rudy Martinez, a member of the Mexican national team and the Dodgers have been known to sport some sweet, retro-inspired threads on the field.
Xiphos - Returning squad. The Shakerz are very happy to welcome the Xiphos back to NYC after a great showing at last year’s event. The Shakerz and Xiphos played against each other twice at the 2011 Lax Vegas event and a quick friendship was formed. The Xiphos played great at this year’s Vegas tourney, losing in the finals to a talented twisted steel team that had previously beaten the Shakerz. The Xiphos, based of California, will provide some insight into the West Coast style of lacrosse for East Coast fans who have been otherwise unaccquainted.
Dust Bunnies - Another First year squad. Not much is known about the team, except that they’re out of upstate NY, which generally means that they’re tough and talented. Anxious to see the product they put on the field.
Machine - Returning squad from the Syracuse area of New York. Last year, they wowed the crowd with uniforms that were inspired by the NYC subway map. A solid team that’s looking to move up the standings in 2012, and will be sure to impress again with their taxi inspired threads.
Salt Shakerz (Pass the Salt) - The second Shakerz team will be playing in the Brooklyn Borough. Home sweet home for some!
Chil-Lax Wear/Harrow - First year participant. Helmed by Joe Infante, founder and CEO of Str8lax (Lacrosse mesh-backed hat!), the team is looking to make a triumphant return to action after a hiatus since solid showings in the Bump & Grind Tournament in 2007 and Lake Placid in 2009. That being said, the squad has consistenly fielded a women’s team that has fared very well at the Lake Placid shootout. The Chil-Lax women’s team will face off against the Shakerz’ sister-squad, the Cayenne Pepperz on Saturday.
LaxAllStars.com/CityLax - The Shakerz are proud to have LAS as a sponsor yet again in 2012! LAS and CityLax have teamed up this Summer for two tournaments, and the teams will feature former NYC public school players, LAS readers, some SSZ box lacrosse players and they even have a well known lacrosse photographer in net!
Laxbal - First year participant. An interesting entrant. The youthful and Northern NJ-based squad won the Next Level Lacrosse league last summer at Stevens Tech in Hoboken, NJ. The team features some talented defensemen who press out all over the field and an overall hard-charging mentality. Definitely a team to keep an eye on!
Long Island Squids - Returning team. The Squids are a summer tournament staple and have been playing a hard-nosed, and decidely LI style of lacrosse for many years. The Squids played very well at the 2011 Invitational and made the playoffs. A dangerous team that needs to be reckoned with! Always with the sweet gear as well.
Sea of Green - First year team. The Sea of Green is a team composed of Siena College alumni and friends. The New York based squad performed very well at the 2012 Bump & Grind tournament in Miami and beat the Shakerz on their way to the playoffs. It will be interesting to see who is on their roster for the SSZ tourney. The Green are a very athletic and dangerous team that is certainly one of the favorites heading into play.
Lagunitas - Another returning team. What’s a summer lacrosse tournament without a team sponsored by a beer manufacturer?!?! And a good one at that! Lagunitas, back-stopped by Corey Vaillancourt, played great at last year’s tournament and is a staple at War on the Shore. The Shakerz are very excited to see what kind of team Lagunitas brings, as year’s squad was a great physical team who played great in transition.
Bucks LC - First year team. The Bucks are based out of SINY, Shaolin, 10304 – aka the home of the Wu-Tang Clan – Staten Island. The team plays in the NJ ALL league and is looking forward to its first appearance at SSZ. Not much is known about the squad, but any NYC team is going to be talented, physical and a tough out for anyone. Looking forward to seeing their camo-inspired threads on the field!
Overall 2012 Outlook!
The 2012 SSZ Invitational is looking like a great tourney, filled with excellent play and a lot of good people! If you’re in the NYC metro area, consider coming out to the tourney for some great lacrosse! There will be food available, merchandise for sale, plenty of sun (the forecast is GREAT!) and a backdrop like no other!
NEW YORK CITY!
The Salt Shakerz Invitational Committee would also like to recognize and thank our sponsors!
LacrosseAllstars.com – Tournament Sponsor
Reversible Lifestyle – Apparel Sponsor
EyeBlack – Equipment Sponsor
Lacrosse Unlimited – Official Equipment Sponsor
Talent Exposure Productions – Official Audio / Video Sponsor
Motive Pure – Official Hydration Sponsor
Mad River Bar & Grille – Host of the 2012 Salt Shakerz Invitational After Party!