The fifth annual Sin City Box Classic came to a close a couple Sundays ago, on January 28th. By now, all 15 squads ‘should’ be back to reality and almost through recovery. Some guys are probably still in denial of it coming to an end, or what actually happened that weekend. It’s only natural, would you expect anything less from a box lacrosse tournament in Las Vegas?
This year, the Sin City Box Classic boasted it’s largest lineup yet, featuring 15 squads from across North America. Last year, there were 10 teams and in 6 in 2016. Supporting it’s growth, the event was yet again a success.
15 box teams, from all over North America, showed up, played competitive games, and everyone left with nothing but good times.
Got a squad? Start planning now for next year. It’s an experience in every sense of the word.
Sin City Box Classic – The Squads
Teams were divided into 5 pools with 3 teams each.
- Corn Crackers – British Columbia, Canada (2017 Champions)
- Airdrie Mohawks – Alberta, Canada (Attended in 2017)
- Rainier Booze Hounds – Seattle, USA
- Sin City Lacrosse Club – Las Vegas, USA (2017 Runners-up)
- Brooklyn Dodgers – Brooklyn, USA (Attended 2017)
- Vermilion Rage – Alberta, Canada
- Lasersharks Lacrosse Club – New Jersey, USA (Attended 2017)
- Team Battle Born – Tournament team
- Maple Ridge Attack – British Columbia, Canada
- Cali Bucc’s – California, USA (Attended 2017)
- Glasgow Clydesiders – #purplerain
- Cleveland Demons – Cleveland, USA
- Calgary Gunmen – Calgary, Canada (Attended 2017)
- Total Lacrosse – Los Angeles, USA (Attended 2017)
- Port Moody Express – British Columbia, Canada
Sin City Box Classic – Recap
The undefeated Lasersharks ended up taking home the hardware by defeating the Cali Buccs, 9-5, in the finals. On a side note, I remember seeing the semi-finals last year were the Corn Crackers came from behind to beat the Lasersharks. Was an amazing lacrosse game to watch and any team could’ve won. I knew back then that the Lasersharks were going to bring fire next year, that they did.
They had some Team USA box and MLL players (Will Manny, Anthony Kelly, Marcus Holman, etc.) on their team coupled with veteran Lasersharkers. Not only did they stand out in their neon jerseys, they really played well together for lack of familiarity. The Lasersharks seem to be making a statement that they are one of the strongest box lacrosse club in the USA.
Only thing I’m thinking… if they bring a squad like this to LASNAI next year and played Thompson Brothers Lacrosse it would be a game and a half to watch. All that to say, congratulations to the Lasersharks! You guys earned it.
Also, huge props to Battle Born Lacrosse on hosting another year of Vegas madness, what a hit!
Bags were packed and I was happy to have a vacation from the gruelling cold of Montreal. Flying can be a crap shoot though. Sometimes you get lucky and other times you take one to the chin. I have been on my fair share of flights, so this 9-hour flight to Las Vegas wasn’t so bad in my mind.
A couple delays and crying babies later, I felt like I was in a “3 worst things to happen when you travel” reality show. All in all, the ends justify the means in this scenario, touchdown Vegas.
Back in November, I booked an AirBnb, which slept the whole squad. I was one of the last guys on the Clydesiders to get into Vegas. “No worries,” I said to myself, I told the host to meet the boys there for 5pm local time, which he agreed.
As I got through the airport, the messages started flooding onto my phone… “Dude didn’t show up, Basso” with videos of my teammates camping outside the house doing Clydesider things. I met Eric “Bad Dog” Witmer at the airport so that we could Uber together. The legend met me with a drink and we shortly defused the house scenario.
Obstacle one averted.
That First Night
When I first booked the AirBnb, it was kind of too good to be true. The house slept over 20 people and was only a 7-minute walk from the venue.
It’s a trap! Right?
Luckily no though, the place was perfect for us and the boys were stoked. Drinks were had and greets were met… now it was time for the show, Vegas baby!
A good chunk of us packed into Ubers and went to the closest casino/hotel. I want to keep this PG-13, so to sum it up, we basically lost a team member right after getting out of the Uber and got kicked out of the casino in less than an hour. It was a great warm-up night, the boys were getting to know each other and Vegas was treating us right.
Then, the First Game
During the Sin City Box Classic, I had the pleasure to suit up as a member of the infamous Glasgow Clydesiders. The notorious Clyde, the notorious international band of lacrosse brothers who play for each other on and off the floor.
Just a week before, the Glasgow Clydesiders took home 5th place in the Winter Lax Cup in Prague and a week later, are now in Las Vegas with a completely different lineup. Alas, the Glasgow Clydesiders were making their North American debut.
Our first game was at noon on the Friday. The boys dusted ourselves out in the morning and made our way to the rink to face the Cleveland Demons.
It was a hard fought game both ways. Bodies were flying and the intensity was there from the get go. In the end it was box lacrosse IQ that prevailed the Clyde to an 8-2 victory.
Most of us haven’t even been there for 24 hours yet and we got our first win, the boys were excited to say the least. Only problem…. there was a scheduling change the day before and our next game was in 9 hours. It is what it is. The Cali Buccs promised us a case of beer for the change (did they ever give it to us?).
Not to Our Favor
Unfortunately, Game 2 didn’t go as smoothly as Game 1 for us. We made very good use of our 9-hour break, so that could probably explain it. What else were we suppose to do? All in all, we were still laughing in the locker room at the end of the game and it lasted all night.
Then came the elimination rounds.
I should’ve know it would have come down to this, the Glasgow Clydesiders against the Sin City Lacrosse Club (the team I went to the finals with last year). Before the game even began, old teammates joked how “I was gonna get it.”
All in good fun though, right?
It was a battle, I’ll tell you that much. Both teams came at each other knowing the Cup was on the line. The game was closer than the scored showed, but Sin City scored when they had too and we simply didn’t. In the end it would be the Sin City LC, 10-4, who would move onto the semi-finals.
The Clydesiders would then go on to win 5th place by defeating the Calgary Gunmen on the last day. This would mark the second tournament in two weeks that the Clyde had placed 5th. One being in Europe and the other Vegas, kind of seems like it was meant to be. When you take into account how many nationalities (and guys that don’t even know each other) are on the Clyde, it’s an impressive nod to the continuously growing level of international box lacrosse.
Was it Worth it?
So what defines a successful tournament?
Let’s start with playing time. Teams got to play 4 or 5 games, so check.
Everyone also got free entrance for two fully-Vegas after parties. That’s a guarantee that everyone had a blast off the floor, check.
Some games did get pretty intense, but that’s box lacrosse and that’s the way she goes. I didn’t see, or hear, of any incidents over the weekend though. No fights, no injures, so chalk that up as a win, check.
One of the things I appreciate about the Sin City Box Classic has to be the sportsmanship. Leave it all on the floor and for glory. You play hard, battle for your teammates, and have fun in the process. You shake hands, smile because it was great time, have a few, and make new friends. The great medicine of lacrosse was spread, check.
What brings it home is the fact that it’s in Vegas. Catalyst for great times, check.
Decide for yourself and meet me in Sin City in 2019.