Editor’s Note: LaxAllStars will be on site this weekend in Lake Placid at the 2017 High Peaks Summit Classic. This is our second Summit Lacrosse Ventures event of the summer, and we couldn’t be more pumped to be in Upstate New York.
When someone asks you “in what season is lacrosse played?”, you typically would answer that it is in fact a ‘spring sport’. That is if we’re speaking to which of the three scholastic seasons it would fall under. Being a ‘spring sport’ makes it sound like the sport, the competition, is played in spring. Maybe that’s fair with the NCAA and scholastic seasons being the pinnacle of official and recognized organized competition.
That’s all well and good, but if you ask me, lacrosse is a game of summer. I’d have you note the difference between game and sport. I also hope you’re as excited as I am that it’s time to put away the school loyalties and rivalries to just enjoy the sunshine and play the game you and I both love.
As of Wednesday, the season is officially changing from spring into summer. The summer can’t really start until you pack up a sleeping bag, tent, a shoebox full of snack foods, and a bag of mismatched gear to hit the road for your first tournament of the summer.
We’re Talkin’ About Freedom
Whether you’re five years old or fifty, there’s nothing that says freedom like driving hours away from responsibility to just go play some ball. Freedom to hang out with good buddies you haven’t seen in a while. The freedom to meet the new friends you haven’t shared a field with before.
I’ve got my peanut butter and jelly supplies locked and loaded. My equipment is hung up like Batman’s suit down in my own personal bat-cave. For my first road trip tournament of the summer, I couldn’t be happier than to say I’m heading up to Lake Placid for the High Peaks Summit Classic.
Now, for those of you in the Northeast, or anyone who’s been to Lake Placid for the world-famous Placid Summit Classic, you’re probably thinking that this article is coming out a bit premature. You’re thinking in the back of your mind that Placid is at the end of the summer, right? It’s always the big sendoff that usually caps off a season of lacrosse, yeah?
You’re right, and I’m happy to clarify that this weekend’s High Peaks Summit Classic is a NEW tournament put on by the same great folks at Summit Lacrosse Ventures. This isn’t an event to supplant the world-famous Placid Summit Classic. Oh, no! Since “Placid” has grown to an astronomical size and scale, this is simply a return to simpler days.
The Recipe For Greatness
Those simpler days happened to be 27 years ago, when George Leveille held his first tournament with seven teams in attendance. The lacrosse was great, the location was just as great, if not more so. Just like that, arguably the best summer lacrosse event was born.
These days, the Placid Summit Classic looks a little different. A dozen different divisions span the spectrum of young boys and girls, to collegiate men and women, and then beyond to include players that refuse to hang it up well into their sixties and seventies. If you’ve never been to the Placid Summit Classic, you need to fix that.
Walking around the fields in Lake Placid, it would be almost impossible to imagine what this beautiful massive lacrosse machine would look like with only a fraction of its participants. Teams sign up YEARS in advance to get on a waiting list. The hope is that someday they might get the chance to come and play in the tournament.
Back to the Roots
The High Peaks Summit Classic is the genius of not just seeing how big and beautiful yourp creation has become, but recognizing that it was always beautiful. Even when it was very young, small, and accessible for every player with a bag of gear who wanted to play.
This coming weekend will be a direct return to the past. Every team that signed up was accepted and welcomed into the tournament, and teams will get full games with the best officiating around. Top talent will be coming from all over the Northeast and beyond.
The real fun part about the tournament is that nobody actually knows anything about their opponents going into this weekend! Whereas in other tournaments, you might remember playing those guys last year or watching them crush someone in the finals a few years back. By having a new tournament everyone is coming in blind!
It Gets Even Better!
What’s more fun than coming in blind? Coming in blind with a two-point arc, duh. A simple borrow from the MLL format will add just a pinch of picante. It’s a real opportunity to shake up some scores late in the game. I took a walk down to my local school to test out my range. I can wholeheartedly assure any opposition reading this, you don’t have to worry about yours truly going for the deep ball.
High Peaks is really a wonderful opportunity that’s open to tweaks and edits because it’s a fresh take on a time-tested tournament. It hasn’t just stood the test of time, but has set the bar as far as operations and quality assurance.
I’m excited about this next part. You should be excited about this next part. This isn’t just an opportunity for additional teams and players to get a weekend of lacrosse in. The weekend is a genuine opportunity to earn your way to the Placid Classic!
Lake Placid To the Next Level
How? Success on the field, as well as adhering to the conduct code written out in SLV’s “Summit Lacrosse Society” found here.
Think about that. All you have to do is be a team of good dudes and finish in one of the top places of a new tournament! Instead of waiting for years for the call that you’ve got a spot, you can EARN a spot in the 2018 Placid Classic! I can think of a couple other tournaments that turn away teams because they’re too full, but I can’t think of any tournaments that offer an avenue for a team to qualify and work their way in!
More Than Just That
Please don’t think that this is strictly a ‘qualifying event’ for the Placid Classic. This event is brand new, and will take on an identity all its own. While it is 27 years the junior of its big brother, the Placid Classic, I think that this sibling will come into its own personality almost immediately.
I plan on attending both this summer. I can tell you honestly that I’m very excited about this weekend for the specific reason that it is smaller. With less teams, the day will start later and end earlier.
Why would I want that? When you go to a big amazing event like the Placid Classic, you get there early and you stay all day. With this tournament, I’m bringing up the paddle boards, the hammock, the golf clubs. With a shorter day, players will get additional time to enjoy the stunning Lake Placid area without that nagging fear that they’re missing an awesome Rusty Red vs Burnt Orange (Cornell alumni vs. Syracuse alumni) game to go cliff jumping.
See YOU There?!
I’ll be there. Lacrosse All Stars is bringing our own team as one of our travel opportunities. If you’re reading this and you’re going to be up in Lake Placid this weekend, be sure to say hi! (Or come play with us, there’s still space!)
In the event you’re reading this and you’ll be there for the youth tournament on Monday-Wednesday, we’ll be there for that as well! And I think it goes without saying, we wouldn’t be caught dead missing the Placid Classic at the end of the summer!
We’re really excited about the awesome tournament lineup that Summit Lacrosse Ventures has brought together for this summer. If last weekend’s Tahoe Summit Classic in BEAUTIFUL Lake Tahoe, California taught us anything, the next few weeks will be something special.
See you out there!