The concept of a national high school lacrosse tournament has been executed before, but the NHSCA Tourney could be much different – and infinitely cooler.
In our current political climate, States’ Rights have once again become a lightning rod for debate. Most tournaments have gone with the traditional top down, federal style, one-ring-to-rule-them-all approach. They invite teams to come or even select teams by hand and decide, from a removed angle, who should compete for the “national title.” A lot of these other camps even bill themselves as “blue chip” recruiting events and they all strive for the Dukes and Syracuses to be in attendance. Needless to say, they don’t always deliver.
The NHSCA tourney is a little different. Each state will be able to send whichever team they want to send. If there are problems within the state in selecting a team, then that is their problem. How they represent themselves to the rest of the lacrosse world is their choice!
States could send All-Star teams, club teams, State champs from the season that just ended, or any other combination of players and coaches. That being said, they’d still be representing the State at the tourney. They can also wear whatever uniforms they want and this should make for an extremely interesting melting pot of lacrosse styles from across the country.
Since the event will target older HS players, the recruiting possibilities will definitely be there for lower Tier D1 teams, D2 and D3 schools and MCLA schools across the spectrum. It’s a great chance to find a late bloomer or kid from some removed area, and every team promises to have a couple of kids who are still completely undecided. Not a bad opportunity for the kids or the coaches! In this day and age of early commits from blue chippers, it’s great to see more opportunities for kids who might not have gotten noticed otherwise.
The tournament organizers are lining up over 30 States to send representative teams and have a number of commitments already. As this event grows and matures, a real State vs. State bragging rights battle could erupt, and that will only be good for the game.
I’ve heard rumors of Army parachute teams dropping in to open the tournament up, and if that’s true, then the kids will get to watch a show before they put one on themselves. I would have loved to have played in something like this when I was coming up. Guess I need to invent a time machine. If I were still a college coach, I’d be sure to check this out and maybe mix in a little weekend getaway with the wife. Who knows?
The event runs June 23rd to 25th at Golden Goal Park in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in New York State. There are a number of fields laid out in a spoke, with a raised viewing area in the middle of it all and the kids get to stay in an Olympic style village during the tournament. There’s shopping nearby and to the surprise of some, a lot to do in the Adirondacks (aside from lacrosse) in the Summer.
I’m hoping to get up to check this event out in person. Looks like a great time!