A few weeks ago, I heard some rumblings from friends on the Bookface regarding being upset because it was fall and the summer lacrosse circuit was over (at least in the West). It was at this moment that I was at my happiest, as I still had one more “last hoorah” before men’s league lax was over this year. Enter, the 3rd Annual Squaw Valley Laxtoberfest (Organized by Al Garner – Tahoe Dawgs) and Oktoberfest (Organized by Steve Corrigan – Tahoe Truckee Lacrosse Association) Events. The events are put on by High Sierra Lacrosse, are sponsored by Warrior Lacrosse, and occurred on October 1st and 2nd.
Laxallstars, of course, made its presence known.
In this tournament, I was competing with the home team, the Tahoe Dawgs. We had a strong roster and had very high hopes of winning this tournament, which we were putting on.
The field alone in Squaw Valley is reason enough to get yourself to this event. Nothing like playing on a new turf field surrounded by the Trees and Mountains. When I say that it is absolutely Breathtaking, I absolutely mean it. It doesn’t get any better.
We were slated to play Palo Alto in the first game of the tournament. We had not beaten these Angry Ducks (Why are they so Angry?) for exactly 2 years and it was really starting to become frustrating as we have developed a friendly, yet competitive rivalry.
After competing against pretty much the same team for 2-3 years now, it was awesome to get out on the field and know the competition already. In particular, as an attackman, I always have a competitive game with their very skilled goalie. The Dawgs jumped out early and enjoyed a lead throughout the majority of the game. The Ducks never went away and tied up the game several times, but the Dawgs ended up winning the game by 2 points. It felt great to finally get the win and the monkey off our back.
We had a break while Chico Republic faced off against the rapidly improving University of Nevada Reno (UNR) Club Lacrosse team. And now for the Dawgs, it was time to enjoy the real fun of these tournaments, Cornhole and adult beverages! UNR played tough throughout the game but were outplayed by a youthful, athletic, and fast Chico team.
Something in this game did catch my eye though. During the past couple of weeks, Connor has posed many questions regarding the definition of Old School. Now, while I still don’t have an answer (and am relatively sure that a concrete and accepted answer may never be created) I do know that this Chico guy and this picture will accompany the definition in the dictionary. Not only was the gear sick and “Old School,” but this guy could ball. He put in too many goals to count throughout the game and was very entertaining to watch. Even better, rumor has it that he has approximately 10 pairs of different colored variations of those gloves.
Up next for the Dawgs was Chico Republic. Opposite story of our game against Palo with Chico. We had not lost to Chico for approximately 2 years and wanted to continue this run. However, I can humbly say that the Dawgs were put down for the count in this one. While we ended up losing 10-3, it was 10-1 going into the final minutes of the game. Chico was fast and beat us to the GBs and as we all know, GBs win possessions and ultimately games. Well, maybe next year.
While we may not have beaten Chico, I did receive one of the best compliments of my Lacrosse Career. (Almost as good as asking me if I am left handed or if I am from Canada) When I walked out onto the field, one of the Chico Players said “well, we’ve got a Woozle.” It was only 8 years ago that a bunch of my closest friends and lax buddies were sitting around the dining room table in a cabin in McCall, Idaho, that the Woozles were created and it was awesome to get this type of recognition. The only Woozle gear that I was wearing was my Warrior TII with the Woozle “W” on it. This was a special moment for me and all the Woozles out there.
Last game of the day, Palo Alto vs. UNR. Palo Alto went on to win relatively, but you have to commend the effort from the UNR guys. They do work hard when they are out there on the field and I believe they will experience a great amount of success this season.
Oh and did we mention the best part of the entire Laxtoberfest tournament? It is directly followed by a Gargantuan Oktoberfest Beer and Bratwurst Festival in the Olympic Village in Squaw Valley. (I think this is the point where people are suddenly paying attention to this otherwise lackluster recounting of the games and start inquiring as to how to get into next year’s tournament.
Here’s the exact plug:
The 3rd Annual Laxtoberfest Tournament is a small men’s open division tournament that will be running in conjunction with the 9th annual Squaw Valley Oktoberfest in the Olympic Village at the Squaw Valley Resort. Both events are organized and staffed by the Tahoe Truckee Lacrosse Association in conjunction with the Squaw Valley Neighborhood Committee and Placer County. Proceeds from both the tournament and Oktoberfest events benefit youth lacrosse in the Tahoe Basin and Northern Nevada.
When I tell you that Laxtoberfest and Oktoberfest are some of the best times I have ever had, again, I absolutely mean it. The Oktoberfest is unreal. Olympic Village is outrageous and this place was packed. The beer tents were serving nonstop the entire afternoon. It was awesome to kick back with my Tahoe Dawgs, have a few cold ones, watch people throw raw bratwursts onto a Keg in a competition, and listen to people screaming top of their lungs “BOOOOOOO” when people missed the Keg. The next morning, I also smiled when I asked one of our players (Bill Ghiglieri) if he competed in the Stein holding competition and he stated promptly “I don’t compete, I win.” Hysterical.
The next morning Chico and Palo Alto faced off at 10am. A few of my fellow Dawgs took in the action from a hilltop at the field. Awesome vantage point and hysterical conversations about the previous night at the Oktoberfest? Yes, Please. Chic o came out firing on all cylinders again and got the best of Palo throughout this one. Highlight of the game was watching a Chico player run off the field in order to “evacuate the contents of his stomach” on the sideline. Nonetheless, this win by Chico was the last they needed to claim victory of the 3rd Annual Laxtoberfest Tournament. Congrats Chico.
Lastly, the Dawgs took on UNR to finish up the tournament. It was a friendly game against a very familiar opponent. The Dawgs took care of business, laughed frequently throughout the entire game, and won to finish second in the tournament with a record of 2-1. Not a bad showing for a motley crew like us.
Overall, as always, Curt Wegener dominated in goal, our entire defense slid extremely well, Hank Czarneki took the most adorable jump shot as well as scored a goal from GLE, the attack moved well off ball as a unit, Eric Peacock dominated at the face off X, Zabba showed up an entire game late after leaving his gear in Reno that same morning, Bill Ghiglieri dominated with his patented “Bill Dodge” (we are a creative bunch aren’t we?), Gabe Lampert came up with the brilliant idea of team lettermen sweaters, Danny Rotter scored on a ridiculous bounce shot, Al Garner showed off his consistent hustle, Frank Foerhenbach injured his pinky finger (again), and Terrence Schrecker didn’t do anything. (He’s on the IR list) Sorry if I left anyone out, just some of the things that came to mind.
Oh, and last but not least, I found Boom Town! – Connor Martin
Definitely one of the best teams that I have ever been a part of and definitely one of the best weekends of the year, every year. We may not always win all of our games, but it is a guarantee that the Tahoe Dawgs will be having fun and laughing whenever we are together. I highly encourage more teams to enter this event next year. It’s not like there is a ton of Lax Tourneys in the West this time of year. If you want more information or are interested in entering your team next year, drop me a line in the comment section and I can send you the contact information. (For those who don’t know there is also a tourney in Las Vegas in November – https://www.lasvegaslacrosseshowcase.com).