Editor’s Note: As we get closer to the First annual Salt Shakerz Invitational (June 25, 26 in NYC (get more info at laxoften.com), the Shakerz want to give LAS readers a continuing taste of what to expect at the tourney by highlighting the different teams that will be coming to the tournament. Today they are focusing on LaxAllStars.com’s team! Home Cooking!
First of all, what’s in a name anyway? What is your team name and how’d you pick it?
Well, that’s kind of an obvious question, but everyone else answered it, so we will too! We are all laxallstars in our own minds and imaginations so… but really, we’re sponsored by the wesbsite LaxAllStars.com so the name choice was pretty obvious. I guess we could have called ourselves Team Danny Banany, but Danny Ackil didn’t sign up to play, so we went with LAS. Plus we have sweet tank tops to show off with a special LAS message.
Where are you located?
Where AREN’T we located!?!?!?!?! NYC, Boise and Oregon are our main headquarters, but we’re spread all over the world from NYC to Bangkok. LAS is everywhere, and for the people, and the children!
How would you describe the club lacrosse scene where you’re located?
Most of our players are from the NYC area, so I’ll focus on that! We’ve got lots of lax, both field and box, and guys play in Ulax.org leagues, Top Side Lacrosse Leagues, the Gotham Lacrosse League (video highlights) as well as college, and the American Lacrosse League. It really comes down to how much you want to play in NYC. If you’ll make the effort, there is plenty of lax! The quality is good, but for the most part (outside of NYAC and a few others) it’s pretty laid back. Guys have to work a lot, so lax is an outlet that allows them to get back to just having fun. Again, that’s true, for the most part.
How many people are on your team, part of your club?
We’ve got about 20-25 for this tourney, and it’s a constantly changing roster. If you’re a great guy, who likes to play fun lacrosse, we’ve probably got a spot for you. It’s not about WHERE you played, but how you play now. Can you make nice? We’d love to have you.
Who is behind the team? (founders, captains, sponsors, etc.)
LaxAllStars.com is our obvious sponsor, but Connor Wilson runs the team and Grant Hewit, of Steaker Sports, is our “Coach”. We’re still not quite sure what that means exactly, but we’re excited to have him on board!
What makes your team different, and/or stand above others?
I think we have two, maybe three, guys with actual D1 experience on our team. We’ve got some recent HS grads going on to great schools, some current college players looking to keep working on their games, and a bunch of old, washed up, never weres, who just don’t know when to give it up. Some of these guys can still ball at a high level, but trophies are secondary to good experiences with this crew. For example, even if our just graduated HS fogo is getting killed (I don’t he will though), we’ll let him keep playing because he’s going to play D1 next year, and we want to help him get in as much work as he can before making the jump. It’s Summer lax at its finest.
What was your 2010 season like?
LaxAllStars.com has had a team in the ULax leagues here in NYC for the past year and while we’ve been competitive, we haven’t dominated. We won the box league this Winter, and went undefeated, but in the Spring lost in the Semis. There were 4 teams. This fall we did well but I actually don’t remember (or particularly care) how we finished up. Like I said, Wins and Losses are a relatively small part of our team culture.
Any games, tournaments or experiences you’re particularly proud of?
The box league was pretty cool. Only 4 teams and we played outside on a concrete roller hockey rink in the middle of the winter. Lots of shovelling and some cancellations, but the game is a ton of fun and we hope to find an indoor venue for this winter. Boxla is legit and this was the first box league ULax had ever run, so that was something a little noteworthy as well. I have heard that there used to be box at Chelsea Piers, but because of all the fighting, it was cancelled. We had zero fights and very few dangerous hits. Guys knew why there were there.
How is your team looking for the 2011 season? Do you have a 2011 Schedule? If so, do tell!
We’re looking solid with some younger legs in key positions on the field. This tourney team is a real mix of guys from 18 year olds to 32 year olds, guys who played D1 to guys who didn’t play at all in college. We’ve got local NYC players like Phil Nisbett, Khalif Israel, Danny Haylett (MSV College), Joe Levine (Union), “Coach” T. Hennessy (Trinity), and Billy Nguyen (Columbus HS), as well as some NYC transplants like Alex Kaufman (Wesleyan), Rich Sharp (Gburg), Connor Wilson (Wesleyan), and Nadim Hraibi (Norwich), and of course, a couple of FLIDs in Dave Schwartzberg (Hofstra), Chris Knacke (Wesleyan), PJ White (Hofstra next year) and Nick Saputo (Drexel Next Year). Bobby Whitmarsh will be anchoring the nets for LAS. And we even have guys coming in from Jersey and beyond to play. Ed Yoo (Wesleyan/Korea 2002), Willie Neihues and a nasty longstick from Bentley College are part of that group.
What are you guys looking to improve on in 2011 both on the field as a team, and off the field as a team/organization/club?
We just want to get out there, ball it up, and have some fun and become better lacrosse players. Oh yeah, we are also praying for continued excellent NYC weather!
Are you guys a team that focuses on its gear and uniform? If so, any new developments we should know about? Anything special for the tournament?
We will be unveiling a new/old type of uniform at the SSZ Invitational. Think Glastonbury Tournament 2001 Team New Haven LC. Yup. Ed knows what I’m talking about.
What brought you to the Salt Shakerz Invitational?
LaxAllStars.com is helping to sponsor and cover it, we couldn’t not put in a team!
What are your expectations for the tournament? Any idea what the competition will be like? You feel like making a prediction about your chances?
Competition looks really solid! No idea how we’ll do, but we’ll be having fun!
Tell us a bit about your upcoming trip to NY. Will you be staying in and around the city?
We all live in or around the City, so we’ll be kicking it from home base!
You’ve got quite a few off-the-field opportunities in NYC (including the Tournament After Party at Mad River Bar & Grille), What are you most looking forward to and why?
It’s a little too much to take in all at once! I can only imagine what 16 teams full of laxers will get up to…
Anything you’d like to tell the LAS readers?
Our gear will be sick, and might make you laugh. We hope so. Keep it simple, stupid! We’re also hoping that from this team, a NEW team will be born. The basic idea there is to get a Summer team together where all the graduates of NYC public (and possibly private/parochial) schools who are playing in college can get together and play all Summer. We’ve got a couple of those guys on the squad this year, so Danny Haylett and I hope it leads to something bigger!
Where can interested Lax players find you and get more information?
LaxAllStars.com of course! The Mother Ship! Where else would you really go?!?!?!