By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/28/10
Several thousand people – many of them teens and youth lacrosse players – soaked up the sun and the chance to hang with pro lacrosse players, enjoy the rapper Wale and watch a pro lacrosse game in perfect weather today at the LXM Pro 610 at Radnor High.
The Philly event was the first one on the East Coast for the LXM Pro Tour.
Two of the five founders of LXM Pro are former Radnor greats Max and Xander Ritz, two brothers who helped Monster Energy defeat New Balance, 10-9, in the pro game.
Today’s event featured an hour of clinics run by the LXM pros, who drilled 200 boys on the finer techniques of dodging, shooting, defense, face-offs and groundballs. The crowd was then treated to a live performance by Fortune Family, some DJ music and the feature musical entertainment from the popular D.C. rapper, Wale. There also was a huge vendor village and plenty of refreshments.
And then came the game, featuring a Who’s Who in former college and Major League lacrosse stars.
Jimmy Borell a former Philadelphia Wing who played with the Ritz brothers at Maryland, was named game MVP for scoring the tying goal with 5:50 to play and the winning tally with 29.9 seconds left. Lewis Ratcliff (Ohio State) and Joe Walters (Maryland) added two goals each for Monster Energy while goalie Henry Alford (Maryland) made 12 saves.
New Balance got two goals from Philly’s John Christmas (Lower Merion/Virginia/Wings) and Sean Lindsay (Syracuse) and a goal and three assists from Greg Peyser (Johns Hopkins).
The New Balance team was loaded with Philly players: midfielders Christmas, Ryan Cranston (Henderson/Lynchburg), Todd Fairlie (Penncrest/Widener), Scott Kahoe (Radnor/Syracuse), and defensemen Brett Moyer (Ridley/Hofstra), Brian Kelly (Downingtown/Whittier, CA, grad and coach), and Steven Holmes (Germantown Academy/Virginia). Fairlie, Cranston and Kahoe each scored once.
Besides the Ritz brothers, both of whom played at Maryland, Monster Energy featured Michael Colleluori (Ridley/Hofstra).
Max Ritz, who lives in Los Angeles, helped create LXM Pro to spread the sport in non-traditional areas, mostly in the West and the Southwest. His group decided to bring it to the East Coast and Philly was the perfect place – a budding lacrosse hotbed that can get forgotten behind the likes of Baltimore and New York.
“We want to come back here every year and this is putting the place on the map for a destination for kids to watch high level lacrosse,” Ritz said. “The Maryland area has all those (top lacrosse) colleges, and New York hosts (tournament games). Philly doesn’t get a lot of top-tier lacrosse. That is what we’re stoked about.”
Ritz said the clinics were a chance for LXM Pro to serve the lacrosse community.
“The clinic was the part of giving back,” he said, “They were a great value. If you had Kyle Harrison, Steven Holmes, Joe Walters and all these guys give you a clinic in your backyard for an hour and you added it up, that’s a thousand bucks. They got that for $20.
“That’s the hidden value. We want to make sure everybody got something.”
The Ritz brothers, brothers Scott and Craig Hochstadt and Kyle Harrison are the co-founders of LXM Pro. The tour launched in Los Angeles on Nov., 21, 2009 and then hit Austin, Texas, on April 10. The next events are slated for Jacksonville (Oct. 17), San Diego [Jan. 8] and Las Vegas (March 5),
Ritz was thrilled to bring the LXM Pro Tour to his home town.
“Coming home, that part was cool,” he said. “It was convenient as far as knowing where everything is. But it was just as important and just as tedious to set up. It wasn’t easy.”
The local players enjoyed the clinics. Defenseman David Greene, a rising junior at three-time Pioneer Athletic Conference champion Owen J. Roberts, was happy to get instruction on the key aspects of defense.
“I learned a lot,” he said, “It was a lot of fun. I learned what checks to throw and how to pass. Being up close to them (the pros) and getting to know them was the coolest part about it.”
Philadelphia’s Cori Grobes just learned the game in March from the LEAPS program, which is building lacrosse programs in underserved areas of the Delaware Valley. One of Groves’ coaches at LEAPS, St. Joseph’s Prep coach and LEAPS co-founder Eric Gregg, brought him to the event.
“It was so much fun to be here,” said Grobes, who will be attending Roxborough High. “I want to meet Kyle Harrison; I watch a lot of his moves.
“It’s a fun sport and I picked it up real fast, I’ll just keep practicing and go hard every day. I got my friend to play and now he likes it. This sport is growing, in and out of the city.”