A couple of Sundays back saw a constant drizzle slowly drench New York City, but that didn’t stop the Public School Athletic League lacrosse championships, which took place at Aviator Sports Complex, in Brooklyn, from going down in a pretty amazing fashion. (Editor’s Note: Connor was a volunteer assistant coach with a Brooklyn-based PSAL team this Spring.)
Starting at 10am, teams from around the five boroughs hit the field and vied for a title. NYC offers boys and girls lacrosse, and offers titles in two divisions: The Bowl Division (B division), and Championship Division (A division).
On the boys’ side, Frederick Douglas Academy (Harlem) took on Curtis HS (Staten Island), and what started out with FDA dominance quickly turned into a tight and competitive game. At the end of the day, FDA held on to the ball, and the win, and are now bringing the first ever lacrosse championship to Harlem. Connor Martin works with this program, and we’ve talked about that before, but this HS team was really managed and motivated by a couple of excellent coaches, and I think they did a fantastic job this year. See more on FDA’s win over on MSGVarsity.com.
When it comes to the slightly bigger boys in the Championship Division, we got just as good of a story. Tottenville (Staten Island) entered the game without a loss, and looked like a clear cut favorite. They had topped Hunter College HS a couple of times already this season, but Johnson Wong and his boys turned up the heat in a major way, and won their first ever Championship Division title. They had won the Bowl Division a few years back, and moved up to the A division.
We saw a lot of these kids at Summer clinics and pick up games, and their hard work has really paid off. Coach Wong has done an incredible job of starting a program, and making them champions. The fact that these kids are, on average, also very high academic achievers can not be overlooked.
While I obviously want to congratulate FDA and Hunter, it’s also important to note that these stories would not be as good as they are without teams like Curtis and Tottenville, who have been ramping up the quality of NYC lacrosse for years, and even decades. I get the feeling that both Curtis and Tottenville will be competing for titles again next year. I’ve seen their JV teams play too, and both are stacked with lots of potential.
On the girls’ side, Tottenville took the A Division title over Beach Channel HS, by a 12-4 score. Beach Channel is a newer program, and it’s great to see them playing for the A Div title. Tottenville was extremely tough all year long, and only dropped one game all season. Like their boys’ team, they were a heavy favorite entering the playoffs, and in this case, they did nicely to cap their season with a title. This was their third straight A Div title. Wow!
The B Division saw Forrest Hills win the title 8-3 over another relatively new team, Brooklyn Tech. Brooklyn Tech had topped New Dorp 6-5 to make the final, while Forrest Hills has taken down HS of Teaching 11-6 in the other semifinal. Both of these teams had awesome looking sweatshirts on before the game, and played with a lot of passion and energy. The overall improvement on the field was more than evident.
As a CityLax volunteer, the finals were really quite an experience. Not only were all the trophies and awards presented to the players and teams donated by CityLax, but I also got to see a lot of kids I knew from clinics. To see the same faces that were at clinics playing for titles made every minute of coaching in the cold well worth it for me. I bet winning a title made it more than worth it for the kids!
It was a great day of lacrosse in the rain for those that stuck it out for the full 12 hours, like the PSAL’s John Murphy, and CityLax’s Mat Levine, and their photographer, Renzo Spirit Buffalo. The kids played their hearts out, showed how NYC lacrosse is rapidly growing, and improving, and got me all sorts of excited for 2014, and CityLax’s Summer, and then Fall and Winter, clinics.