As most laxers in the Greater New York City Metro Area headed over the river into Jersey towards Giants Stadium for the Big City Classic, I made my way to Randall’s Island to volunteer for the Mayor’s Cup of Lacrosse. The Mayor’s Cup is put on by Citylax (www.citylax.org) and the NYC Sports Commission. Randall’s Island is located in the East River between East Harlem and Queens and hosts a number of large field complexes.
As I drove to the lacrosse fields (fields 80-85 to give you some idea of the size of this complex) I passed youth soccer and baseball games, high school track meets and finally arrived at the real stuff: lacrosse.
The Mayor’s Cup is a single day event where a number of the HS lacrosse teams from across NYC come together for a bunch of 30 minute scrimmages. It is a great chance to see almost all of the City’s HS lax players in one place and the atmosphere is intense but remains very positive. Some of these programs have been around for decades like Midwood High School in Brooklyn while others were only started in the past couple of years like AP Randolph HS in Harlem. There are public, private, prep and Parochial schools at the event. There are schools from all 5 Boroughs and players with every level of experience. On one field you may see a bunch of kids from Fordham Prep or Hackley who look like they have been playing for 10 years and on the next field over you will see a kid from Lehman HS (in Queens) who has been playing for 4 only weeks but by the end of the season could be one of the best in the City. There was even a LSM from Benjamin Cardozo who played settled offense with his long stick and was still one of the leading scorers in the games I saw.
Lacrosse in NYC is really taking off at all levels. There are colleges in Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx with NCAA teams. Maverik lacrosse maintains its headquarters in Long Island City in Queens, whose HS just got a team (possible synergy potential! Maverik + LIC HS would = success. and never badmouth synergy), the Gotham men’s league over the summer (also run by Maverik) is taking off and as you can see from the above post, HS lacrosse is absolutely BOOMING.
It was cold and windy on Saturday but people barely even noticed because of all the lacrosse going on. The next day, Citylax, the volunteers and the NYC Sports Commission did it all over again for the girls.
To learn more about Citylax go to www.citylax.org and make a difference!
Wheniwasakid played for a top-level team in the NESCAC and two teams in the competitive post-collegiate club-ball American Lacrosse League, a club team in Ft. Lauderdale, and has coached at every level. He lives and works in NYC and loves lax like it is his J-O-B. He still plays to this day and is a laxpower.com pollster for Div 3. Wheniwasakid also blogs at Hey! Lax Man!