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Cajun’s Corner – 2011 Sugar Bowl Lacrosse Tournament Recap

I’ve got a recap of the 2011 Sugar Bowl Lacrosse Tournament, including some drama.  I didn’t bring a whole lot of coverage of the Sugar Bowl Lacrosse Tournament in New Orleans last year, which is really a shame because it’s a huge tournament.  Teams from Louisiana and Texas came, and the ages represented were 11-18.

Is there anything better than watching the little tykes of Louisiana run around with lacrosse sticks in their hands?

Yes. Watching the little, inner-city tykes run around with lacrosse sticks in their hands. There’s a reason that this portion of today’s Cajun Corner is coming first. Growing the Game is infinitely more important than Winning the Game.

I hadn’t heard that the Inner-City New Orleans team (KIPP) had gotten their program off the ground yet, so seeing them at the tournament was a welcomed surprise.

A true City Lax story of our own, this program was funded by FONOLAX. These are kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to play lacrosse. I really wish I had had the time to speak with their coach about his experience with this, but the tournament kept me tied up around the clock.

I did, however, have the chance to watch them play, and you can put me on the record as saying these kids are picking the sport up FAST.

On to the tournament!

Last year at this tournament, Dutchtown went 0-4, but we had a blast. You could tell by the end of the tournament that the players were starting to figure out the game. The tournament helps us out a lot, because it gives us a ton of time and on a full-size field – we still practice on a little league baseball field, which is a little less than half the size of a lacrosse field.

The goal this weekend was to emulate last year – get our players plenty of time on the field.

Game 1, vs St. Pauls

We opened the tournament against a strong St. Paul’s team. In their program’s third year, the St. Pauls’ players eat, sleep, and breathe lax. Their coach, Austin Speni, is the owner of the Playmakers Indoor facility and the director of the Quick Stick Lacrosse Team. They have extremely athletic players, and are very well coached.

We were up on them 2-1 at the half, but a half time adjustment from St. Paul’s caused our defense to collapse. They moved Drake Arnold to attack, and it was too much for us to handle. After face dodging his way through a Chinese army, Drake tallied 750,000 goals on us (just another shout out to Drake – he won the fastest shot competition clocking in at 87 mph).

Our sliding was non-existent, so after the defensive collapse, I had a long and heated discussion with our defensive players about when and how to slide.

Quadruple team Drake Arnold next time?

Final, loss to St Pauls, 9-2

Game 2, vs Ocean Springs

Sliding corrected.

#22 Brandt Latino displays the correct sliding procedure.

Defense was much improved in the second game, particularly from the middies. Ocean Springs has a couple of very talented middies, so it was pleasing to see that the defensive adjustments worked. The Attack also helped us out a lot by controlling the tempo of the game.

Dalton and Hat working the O

Dalton Bailey, Attack, stepped his game up and tallied a double hat trick to seal a victory of 9-3.

Game 3, vs Lafayette

The defense maintained the momentum from the Ocean Springs game, sliding at the correct time. Some sloppy offense got us off to a slow start, but eventually strong efforts by attackmen Ryan Adler, Patrick Messenger, and Dalton Bailey gave us the momentum.

The Lafayette game ended with a win, 10-4.

Sunday, Game 4, vs Klein (out of Texas)

My excitement going into this game was at a record high. Klein is a strong team out of the Houston area, who has won the tournament for a few years in a row. I’ve been desperate to see how we would stack up against one of the better teams in Texas, and we finally got the chance.

We came out blazing, and within the first couple minutes jumped out on top 2-0. Some costly penalties and late slides caught up to us, and Klein came back. At half time, the score was 4-2 Klein.

In the second half, Klein had several penalties called against them, which helped us to get back into the game. Jarred Hatfield did a tremendous job in transition, which thankfully gave the defense a chance to catch their breath. Still, we fell short.

Loss, 8-5, which I’m still very proud of my team’s performance. Not too shabby for a second year team.

Final Game for Rank, vs Brother Martin (Drama!)

Brother Martin is a solid team all around, from attack to defense. In Dutchtown’s first ever season game last year, they stomped us 18-2. We knew that our hardwork had paid off, which had gotten us to this point, and that this would be a physical, close game.

Both teams traded licks for the first half, taking turns scoring. At the end of the half, the score (according to the refs) was 3-2 Brother Martin.

Dutchtown came out in the second half blazing, tallying goals. We had a few penalties called against us, but our Man Down defense played lights out, and burned the clock.

No one was keeping score except the refs, though. I had been too busy trying to manage the team to really keep track of what the score was. In the final minutes of the game, I honestly thought the game was tied, so when the refs told us that we had to keep it in because we were winning 5-4, that came as a pleasant surprise to me.

Naturally, with the lead in hand and the final seconds ticking away, I told the offense to work it around and burn the clock, which they did. We celebrated victory.

Somehow or other, something was lost in translation. You can see on the LHSLL website, and the AllState Sugar Bowl’ Scores website, they have recorded Brother Martin as winning, ranking us 6th in the tournament.

I’m not going to make a big stink about it, because I took this picture of the official score board after the game.

So did we win the game or not? I’m obviously biased enough to say “shyeah we did,” but it’s one of those things. The world will never know.


Tournament Finale

St Thomas More battled Jesuit New Orleans in the Championship game of the tournament. We knew this was going to be an intense game, as this was a rematch of the 2010 State championship.

STM ended up winning, thanks to all around stellar play from Ashton Langlinais (that’s pronounced Long-la-Nay). Oh, you didn’t know about Ashton? Now you know.

Dale Shank was on the spot with photos of STM and Ashton.

Ridonculous photo -not sure how Ashton manages to pull this off during every draw
New Orleans Lacrosse High School
Duck = ripped


In other laxy news:

Dutchtown is fortunate enough to have a JV team in our second year, and they played pretty damn good this weekend, too. They went 2-3, but their schedule consisted of Jesuit, Brother Martin, St. Pauls, St Thomas More, and Christ Episcopal. We have a lot of work to do with these guys (including teaching them the rules), but all in all, I’m excited about the young squad.

I’d also like to point out that the goalie who was going to play in the JV tournament suffered a broken thumb early last week. Mason Neff, a freshman, stepped up to the plate to play goalie. He did a hell of a job, and the whole team appreciates his sacrifice.

Dale Shank took some great pictures of the JV games (below)

Slash? Probably
How did he get LSU K18s???
fogo or all-around middie? we shall see!

I’m working with two Baton Rouge high schools to try and get their lacrosse programs off the ground. If you’re in the area and are interested in coaching, shoot us an email!