Editor’s Note: Welcome Malcolm Chase back to LAS with more amazing and true tales from the 2013 Hawai’i Invitational Lacrosse Tournament. He rolled with Wimmer in the Elite and Masters divisions, and got swagged out, won some titles, and most importantly, did some good in the world through his lacrosse play. All that and he met lots of cool people. Not a bad weekend of life!
We sit at the airport awaiting our flight home. As it is every year, my heart is full of love for my team, the Wimmer family, and this beautiful place.
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Both the Wimmer Elite and Masters teams went 5-0 to take home the hardware once again. This means many things, but the most important is that the charities that Wimmer Solutions generously donates to on behalf of each lacrosse team that wins their respective division. I will go into greater detail about each of these in my next and final entry so any readers wishing to get involved can get information on how to do so, and learn more about how and why these teams are put together.
The Elite final did not disappoint, as Dirty Lax tied it up several times throughout the game and never fell behind by more than 3 goals. They were inching closer to an upset in the final two minutes, and behind by only 1, when Elite MVP Graham Gill put the game out of reach with an empty netter. The win for Wimmer was a total team effort led by Brett Queener, who made some unbelievable stops including a point blank save after a clearing turnover in the 4th. He had some choice words during the break between the 3rd and 4th quarters that gave us a much-needed spark, as Dirty was heating up.
Props have to go out to an entirely new defense (from last year’s team) that stepped in to full some big shoes. And a big shout out to my meat cave brother Anthony Kelly who dominated Geoff Snider at the face off X, in what is always a heated battle. This was after he stepped in and assisted the middies in the Masters final. What a beast!
That brings me to the Masters final nicely, because Masters was a different kind of challenge this year. Antikis, a grizzly crew of ex-NLLers, usually makes us grind it out. Instead, Team Hawaii put together a nice game plan and had some nice possessions that swayed us toward penalties on D and rushed offense and turnovers. Hats off to the Hawaii goalie who got in front of a bunch of quality shots and kept his team in it for over a half. This was easily the hottest day of the week and the elements were taking a toll on our decision making and athleticism. However, we would not be denied and, behind the always solid performance of repeat Masters MVP Andrew Wasik, Wimmer put the game far out of reach late in the third.
That was a little close for comfort, but mission accomplished nonetheless.
I didn’t take a single run in the Elite game as Sweeney and Karalunas were playing great and are equally gazelles out there. To be honest, I was exhausted from the semi, and then the scorching Masters Final, and was not having my best day. I humbled myself and stayed at the ready if they needed me, but I chose to let the all-stars do what they do best. We won, and that was not just the important thing, it was the only thing when it meant supporting some important causes. Please check the next installment for what our wins truly meant this year!
I’m 35, and still learning lessons, improving my game, meeting new people, and having a blast out in Hawaii.
All I can leave you with is… Mahalo!