Author’s Note: Registration for the 2017 LASNAI House Team is NOW OPEN and filling up quickly. Don’t miss your chance to fill a roster spot before the list is full. Not convinced? Well, get reading!
Last year was the inaugural run of the Lacrosse All Stars North American Invitational and for more reasons than I can count, it was a huge success.
We had 12 teams gather at the state of the art Tsha’ Thoñ’nhes (translates to “where they play ball), also referred to as the Onondaga Field House, almost a year to the day after the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships at the very same location.
Who Was There?
LCC Radotin made the trek from the Czech Republic, Gold Star Tel Aviv assembled a team of Israeli prospects, guys came from Nova Scotia, Ontario, New York, Vermont, Washington, and a ton of places in between. The Thompson Brothers, yeah those Thompsons, assembled a team of NLL stars and future big leaguers. It was truly the best competition you could ask for, in one of the most relaxed settings.
The legendary Dirt McComber brought down the Caughnawaga Indians. The “home team” Onondaga Redhawks brought the fellas out. The Syracuse Stingers reunited for another weekend. Even Jamaica put together a team, the first time they’ve ever even stepped in a box repping national colors.
But, personally, I didn’t compete for any of these highly established rosters, nor did I suit up for growing American clubs like the Laser Sharks or the Brooklyn Dodgers. I threw my name into a hat with a group of strangers for what would be a wild card of a lacrosse team.
Burning Down the House
When you sign up for the house team at a tournament, you really have no idea what type of players you might pick up. Sometimes they’re rookies, other times they’re seasoned vets. Sometimes they are guys willing to travel alone just to play, sometimes you get locals that have been pushed out of various clubs. When it came to the very first house team at last year’s LASNAI, we ended up with some really good lacrosse players, but even better dudes.
Our roster included Team USA’s goalie, a former USA forward, an Ireland defenseman, four guys from the Can/Am, a handful of Canadians, and a bunch of Americans head over heels in love with box lacrosse. The ages ranged from somewhere right around 21 to 40-something, but if you walked into our locker room, you would have been convinced that these guys have been playing together for years. We all strolled into the building not knowing any more than 1 or 2 guys, and left as a family of sorts.
Everyone knew what we were all going in blindly, and that we all had one very specific thing in common. If bonding over box lacrosse isn’t for you, neither is the LASNAI.
Then we hit the floor.
It was rusty and awkward during warm ups, but with a mixed bag of experience on the other end of the floor, we felt good about game one. We drew Tel Aviv first, and while some of those guys competed for the Bronze medal with Team Israel at WILC 2015, others were clearly just getting used to being in a box for the first time. They were without their two NLL stars, giving us that extra little boost of confidence.
Moments We Won’t Soon Forget
Guess what? We won!
In our very first game, we took down an incredibly athletic squad and walked off the floor with our heads held high. I can promise you this… when you win a lacrosse game with a group of guys you’ve known no longer than an hour or two, it’s a rush that is unlike any other.
Every game finished with a fairly tight margin. Heads were held high and no one in the building didn’t deserve to be on that floor. I can’t stress enough that this event features some of the best talent in the game, but everyone who loves the game has a place.
For a team of random people, this was one of the best quickly assembled rosters I’ve ever seen. Yes, we finished in last place. I will be 100% honest when saying we were also extremely competitive. Had a couple bounces, or penalty shots, gone the other way, we might have landed somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Meet Me at Onondaga
The house team is not a bunch of scrubs that other teams won’t allow in. It’s a group of passionate lacrosse journeymen that come to Onondaga to ball.
If you’re a good person, halfway decent lacrosse player, and you can take a few days off of work, meet us at the Nation!
Spots are filling up and registration is first come, first serve. If you want to be there bad enough, we will find a home for you. This event is about celebrating the box lacrosse community and growing our family. We’re always looking for new brothers to join us.
If you need to know more about what’s going on south of Syracuse to convince you, Connor’s got a call to action that should do the job and Brian did an awesome job recapping the experience after the first run.
Already sold? GREAT! Just sign up here and we will see you in September.