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Starz Elite Night in Washington State

The NW has had a great Indian summer.  Good weather, nice clear sunny days, and moderate temperatures all through October. It’s made for some delightful lacrosse for the local high school and club teams that are in the middle of fall ball. So hopes were high for a Sunday night scrimmage between two top programs.  Unfortunately, we showed up to this:

Conventional wisdom says we in the Pacific NW endure this 24/7/365, but we don’t.  Not cold, windy, rain like this. We whine just like you do in stuff this heavy.

Tonight’s game featured the two top club teams in Washington state, the Seattle Starz Elite team and the South Sound Starz Elite.  The Seattle team has high expectations in 2010/11, being stacked with some of the best seniors this area has seen including, fresh off his appearance with Team Sweden in the World Championships, Kevin “La Flama Blanca” Powers.

The South Sound Starz Elite, not willing to wear the title of second fiddle, counters with their own set of upperclassmen, led by Air Force commit Colby Carr.  It’s safe to say the cream of Washington talent was on the field this night, save for the stars from Mercer Island, who do not participate in external lacrosse programs. What happens on the Island stays on the Island.

The field had been pounded with hail and rain all day long and it showed no signs of letting up.  The typical lacrosse sartorial discipline was thrown out as players begged for jackets, coats, and long pants. After enduring a soaked hour of coach-inflicted torture, in the form of joint man-up/down drills, the teams were properly warmed-up, and faced off for their first live action of the fall.

Here are some battle photos, courtesy of SoundLacrosse.

Both teams looked understandably unsettled. It’s impossible to say how much of it was due to early-season rust vs. the heavenly deluge, but I think it’s safe to say the standing water affected the ground ball numbers.  South Sound proved they were up to the task, leading at halftime 5-4.   While South Sound’s offense struggled with ball-handling, they quickness led them to plenty of good shots. Meanwhile on the Seattle team, “coma” seemed to define the defensive mindset more than the slide package.

Halftime featured a man with a large boat lining up all the animals two by two.

In the second half,  highlights remained few and far between.  Pockets were sagging and tails were dragging throughout much of the last two quarters, but Coach Dijon Hush of Seattle was able to rustle up another batch of enthusiasm from his Seattle boys.  They went on an offensive run to eke out a lead, but South Sound battled back and kept it close.

The buzzer sounded at the end of the 4th quarter, and, as always seemed to happen in games like this; it was tied.  Overtime!!!! Wahoo!  Everyone was thrilled to play more.  Oh wait, maybe not.

Fortunately, Brennan West of the Seattle Starz was able it end it quickly with a nice dodge,

and a jump shot…

It’s hard to say how the players felt after three hours of being pummeled by wind and rain.  But both teams benefitted from a tough scrimmage that helped prepare them for their fall season.  For South Sound, they have upcoming local tournaments leading to a January trip to San Diego for the Adrenaline tournament.  Tonight’s game showed that they can play with anyone.   This Seattle team heads back East next month, hoping to return with a few scalps of major programs. Tonight showed that their team play needs to keep up with their press clippings.