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Successful Ashbee, Abington boys’ youth lacrosse programs decide to switch leagues

Monday, 17th January 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, Youth  
 

By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/17/11

Two of the most successful Philly boys’ youth lacrosse programs, Abington Lacrosse Club and Ashbee Lacrosse Club, have left the Southeastern Pennsylvania Youth Lacrosse Association (SEPYLA) to compete in the Chester County Lacrosse Association (CCLA).

An Ashbee youth player (right) aims for a shot with an Abington player defending. The two top Philly programs will remain rivals in the Chester County Lacrosse Association.

Ashbee was a charter member of SEPYLA when it was formed in 1987. Abington entered the league the following year. Each program has developed numerous players that have gone on to successful careers at the scholastic and collegiate levels.

Chris “Hup” Hupfeldt, a member of the Ashbee leadership, said his program wanted to compete in a league that is age-based rather than grade-based. He also said the CCLA is much smaller, making it easier to be organized. Lastly, Ashbee wanted to play in a more balanced and competitive league.

“Ashbee wanted to be an age-based program instead of grade(-based) so that travel teams will be in compliance with US Lacrosse guidelines,” Hupfeldt said. “As a result of the fact that the majority of youth programs are age-based, almost every lacrosse tournament is also age-based.

“Secondly, the actual size of CCLA was also an important factor. Ashbee feels that because CCLA is a much smaller league, it is well organized with respect to league communication and tasks such as completing the master schedule.”

SEPYLA President Tim Udinski wished both teams success in the CCLA: “We wish Abington and Ashbee youth lacrosse the best of luck in their future endeavors in the Chester County League,”

The CCLA now has 14 programs with the addition of Abington and Ashbee, two longtime rivals. SEPYLA has 37 programs. The leagues field teams for players in grades 3 through 8. The CCLA also includes Avon Grove, Brandywine, Collegeville, Conestoga, Coventry, Great Valley, Kennett, Lionville, Phoenixville, Unionville, West Bradford and West Chester.

“There are a number of excellent programs in CCLA such as Conestoga, West Chester, BYC, Lionville, Collegeville, etc., which are comparable to Ashbee in size,” said Hupfeldt. “That will make for a more balanced schedule of competitive games for all travel levels.

“Another advantage is that all U-13 and U-15 travel teams participate in a playoff format,” continued Hupfeldt. “This gives many more players the experience to play in an end-of-season big game. In SEPYLA, only the top 5th & 6th grade and 7th & 8th grade teams have playoffs.”

Abington President Greg Wilson said Abington based its decision on similar reasons. He also noted that the extra drive of an average of 13 minutes for away games was worth it.

“We have close to 80 kids in each age group and we’re bigger than a lot of the SEPYLA programs,” he said. “The move will make our games more competitive at most levels. Also, we’ll play 12 games in the CCLA where we had eight in SEPYLA.

“We used to scramble for non-league games. Also, our lower level teams will get playoffs and that’s a big plus.”

Mike Walsh, President of the CCLA, said that adding Abington and Ashbee will strengthen the league.

“Both are high quality youth organizations that fit within the model and philosophy of the CCLA,” he said. “We try to provide the best opportunity for our kids to learn the game and love the game.

“Both organizations approached us about joining; they have top-notch lacrosse with top-notch people.”

SEPYLA fields teams mostly in Montgomery, Bucks and Delaware counties, but also has teams in Chester, Philadelphia and Berks counties.

Some of the players produced by Ashbee include Chestnut Hill College men’s coach Brian Dougherty (2010 U.S. Men’s National Team Goalie, Episcopal Academy grad), Wings Assistant General Manager Dave Stilley (1997 Duke University All-American defenseman, Haverford School grad), Philadelphia Wing and LEAPS Co-Director John Christmas (2005 Virginia All-American attackman, Lower Merion grad), Matt McMongle (2007 Cornell University All-American goalie, Episcopal Academy), John Haldy (2011 University of Virginia captain, Haverford School), and Duke freshman attackman Jordan Wolf (2010 Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year, Lower Merion).

Some of the players produced by Abington include Princeton assistant coach Colin Ambler (two-time all-CAA and CAA Academic winner at Drexel, Abington grad), 2009 Phillylacrosse.com Player of the Year Tucker Durkin (started as freshman at close defense at Johns Hopkins and is a preseason All-American, La Salle grad), the Forster brothers (Rob, Jack, Randy and Kevin, all standouts at La Salle), two-time scholastic All-American Peter Schwartz (attackman at Harvard, La Salle grad), scholastic All-American Brian Neary (captain at Drexel, La Salle grad) and Mike Sullivan (standout at Loyola, La Salle grad).


READERS COMMENTS (42)

  1. Lax Fan says:

    The quotes are pretty funny. The main reason these teams left is they did not want to follow the residency rules of SEPYLA which say you can only play players which live in your school district. The rest of these points are just bull. Is Abington trying to make the point that travel will be less playing teams from Chester county?

    • Chris Carr says:

      Nice piece. Dead-on accurate.

    • palax00 says:

      I believe Abington’s quote is referring to the fact the extra time it will take to get to their new away games will be an average of 13 minutes more.

    • BLax says:

      Ashbee, Abington are two great Lax Programs with an pronounced youth Lacrosse History. But they have not played by SEPYLA Lax rules in the last 10 years. Most of the boys in their programs do not reside in the geographic area, therefore they are more like a Lax club than they are a youth program.

      I’m not sure if it matters. They have drawn numerous boys and families into the game and have served the game well. But
      game has grown, and they couldn’t comply with the rules of SEPYLA so they had no choice but to move.

      We are disappointed to see them go, but LAX is not an entitlement game anymore. It’s not just a PREP SCHOOL game anymore either. It’s main stream, and if you want to be part of this game’s growth every program needs to deal with the pains that go alone with it. Mature programs needs to support the game by honoring boundries or move out.

      A&A decided to move out. We sincerely wish them well!

  2. Old lax guy says:

    Everyone knows about the residency issue and Haverford School getting players to come out for Ashbee that lived outside the area. The article is kind of humorous.

  3. WhataCrock says:

    Chris Goldberg….you got absolutely snowed on this one. You didn’t find out about the vote back in the fall to tighten residency rules for SEPYLA. You should do some reporting, not just give meaningless quotes. The vote was about 30-2, and guess who voted against. SEPYLA will be a better league. Now we don’t have to worried about threatened law suits when we catch Ashbee cheating. Good luck to the Chester County League. Hope you understand just what your getting.

  4. Brian Young says:

    Interesting, Goldberg’s article fails to touch on the real motivation behind the moves made by Abington and Ashbee: Their respective desire to win at any cost, and cheating their way to the top as a means to that end.

    SEPYLA representatives from every member organization voted in the fall on a resolution to enforce, and respect, township boundaries for all participating organizations. The vote was 32-2 in support of the resolution upholding enforcement of boundaries.

    The two clubs that voted against the resolution were, you guessed it, Abington and Ashbee. Recruitment of non-township players and allowing parents to shop programs for their Johnny would no longer be tolerated. In other words, cheating would no longer be allowed and Abington and Ashbee would now have to play by the rules for real. What did they do? They quit. Took their lacrosse “balls” away and quit, rather than deal with the fact that they’d have to compete on a level playing field.

    Thinking about what’s most important in this equation, the kids, Abington and Ashbee are sending the wrong message to them.

    Brian Young
    Lacrosse Dad and Coach

    • Kathy says:

      STOP CRYING!!!

    • Harry malitas says:

      I have 2 kids there and one happens to be on the older travel and one happens to be on the in-house program. I see none of what you say being true. Im just curious what you’re position on Abington lacrosse would be if you were lucky enough to be part of the program…very curious!!

    • Laxplayer says:

      This is the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard. Do you really think these clubs recruit players? If anything, these clubs have kids come to them who are tired of playing under people like this. Abington and Ashbee dominate the SEPYLA league because they start from day one with great coaches and great competition, unlike many other SEPYLA programs that are run by men who have never played lacrosse in their lives, and do anything to avoid the best competition. Abington and Ashbee are strictly concerned with making their players the best they can be.

      Shouldn’t you guys be happy anyway? Now Central Bucks, CCLC, Lower Bucks, Springfield and all those other second rate clubs can finally win a championship!

      • lax1 says:

        I believe that Lower Bucks A-1′s won the SEPYLA championship 3 years ago, beating your beloved Abington team in the semi-finals…

    • laxguy says:

      It was in the finals, but I will admit you are right (lax1). However, it is clear that these two clubs have dominated the league for years, and while there always are some good teams (OLMC, CCLC, CBAA etc.) the two clubs have thrived because of their great programs, not because they cheat. Abington and Ashbee do not have a “win at any cost” attitude as this guys claims, it is actually the other clubs that have this attitude. Abington and Ashbee always look for the best competition while many of these other clubs such as CCLC and CBAA dodge the hard ones.

      Abington and Ashbee don’t cheat, and if you want the proof, read the notices from the Ashbee and Abington Presidents. Don’t believe the propaganda that sore losers such as this man make up.

  5. CCLA dad says:

    Great, now my kids get to play against a bunch of ringers. I can only hope the league enforces residency rules.

  6. Reece says:

    The real reason Abington left is that they no longer dominate SEPYLA. The Bucks County teams were starting to catch up to them and Abington cant face the facts. The only reason they were successful was because most SEPYLA teams were new to the sport. Abington always had an excuse why they lost, it was never because the other team was just better.

    • chillax says:

      Actually, Abington looked for the best competition and scheduled out of league games to achieve that. The philosophy is that you need to play the best to become better. Abington did not and does not recruit out of township players. Those who say that are grossly misinformed or worse.

    • Kathy says:

      Two years ago the B’S won the SEPYLA CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

    • laxerboy says:

      You are obviously wrongly minded when it comes that statement about Abington not dominating Sepyla anymore. I did some research and Abington has won 10 Seypla Championships since 1999 . So them leaving the league has nothing to do with not being as good as the other Sepyla teams. They simply just wanted better competition

  7. MP fan says:

    Nice try Huppy.

  8. Laxmom says:

    It’s a shame that you are all so misinformed. Do any of you play for Ashbee or Abington? Have any of you had a discussion with anyone on either of those teams to find out the real reasons they chose to leave SEPYLA? My guess is you don’t and you haven’t because all these statements and accusations are clearly by people who are just angry.
    Some townships don’t offer lacrosse until 5th grade so if your son wanted to play before 5th grade he would HAVE to play for another township. It seems extremely unfair to the children to allow them to play with a team for 4 to 5 years and develop friendships and relationships then yank all of that away because now they are entering the 5th grade and their township now offers lacrosse. It is not a matter of cheating or “recruiting”, it is simply a matter of the love of the game for the child.
    Maybe those of you who are so angry about this should think about the children first.

    • BLax says:

      Very fair point.

      But this is youth lacrosse. It’s not club lacrosse. When a program competes in a league, they all need to play by the same rules.

      If you son moved to the right program at 5th grade over time that talent/parents could have infused energy into those programs and ultimately helped the game of lax.

      If every solid program did what Ashbee and Abington has done, it would have stifled the growth of the game.

      It’s really a myopic approach to the game, although they didn’t realize it…. they limited the growth of he sport in surrounding areas by monopolizing the talent.

      SEPYLA voted 32-2 against them. Are 32 programs wrong?

      Stoga. West Chester, and Lionville won’t tolerate their lack of goverance very long.

      It’s timely that they moved, because the growth of this game North of the Turnpike has been dramatic, and talent coming from Upper Dublin, Horsham, Warrington, Doylestown,Council Rock, Pennridge is becoming hard to ignore. One would argue if one program monopolized the talent up North…would we have 32 programs?

      It’s all good, and the game is alive and well!! Should be a great year at SEPYLA!!

  9. Chris Fechter says:

    Whether the vote was 32-2 or 30-2 is irrelevant, why vote against kids playing within townshp boundaries? I founded the Abington Lacrosse Club, along with a number of other committed individuals, many years ago! We started with less than 100 kids and obviously weren’t very good to start. It took a long time and lots of work by many, many people who loved the game to get ALC to become a successful program, success not recognized by SEPYLA chanpionships but by the caliber of person who made up our alumni. We provided seed money to Crooked Crosse and Wissahickon so they could get their own township programs and their athletes could play for them, not ALC. The folks running this club now are more impressed with their championships than anything else. “We’ll be on top forever” was a recent quote from the current ALC President…humble! Start a club, then call me. I stood in front of Norm Treinish at a PLA meeting asking for money to help start ALC and Norm was one of the few to support my plea. Norm was no saint, but he understood what we did was about the kids, not us. As a person who believes we must give back to our sport in order for it to thrive, it is my pleasure to now run Deep Run Lacrosse and help it to become a successful youth program so that the boys we coach can go on to live successful, healthy, productive lives….with or without a SEPYLA championship!
    Chris Fechter
    Founder ALC
    Deep Run Lacrosse Commissioner

    • Greg Wilson says:

      Chris,

      I’m not sure we’ve ever met.
      I’m quite sure we’ve never spoken.
      And, I know I never said what you’ve attribute to me, above – to you or to anyone else.

      You are generally misinformed. I would be happy to meet you for breakfast or for a drink to reintroduce you to your old club. Feel free to reach out to me on my cell or drop me an email and we can set something up.

      To all,

      I want to make this perfectly clear; ALC’s departure from SEPYLA had little to do with SEPYLA’s new eligibility rule. We did vote against the rule as it was presented for the following reasons:

      1. The goal behind the rule change was clearly parity. However, the rule as it was presented was ill conceived and lacked detail. Under what circumstances would a waiver be issued? Is there a process for appeal? Would the releasing team have a say in the decision? Would the member programs be able to participate in the process? …or the appeals process? Would the process be public and transparent so there would be no questions of favoritism when granting and denying waivers? The list of unanswered questions went on and on. We were promised answers prior to the vote and received none. We were never given any details in writing. When we consulted with members of the competition committee, we received inconsistent and often conflicting answers.
      2. The new rule would have little direct impact on the competitiveness of our program.
      a. Out of 140 travel players in 2010, 8 were there on waivers. Two are now in 9th grade, leaving 6 kids affected. Only 2 of the 6 are legitimate contenders for a 1st team roster spot. Clearly, maintaining some competitive advantage had nothing to do with our “no” vote.
      b. I received an email from the Mom of one of these kids – he played on our B3 team last year. She intimated that her son learned more in our program in 1 year than he did in the previous 4 combined w/ the neighboring program (frankly, I thought he was a 1st year player at the evaluations). I ask rhetorically, is it in this kid’s best interest to send him back if his club is fine with letting him go?
      3. Indirectly, we would clearly be affected. To us, it appeared that the rule as proposed sought parity by tearing down successful programs as opposed to building up weaker programs.
      a. I’ll use Wiss as an example. I’ve coached against a group of Wiss boys for the last 4 years – we’ve had a great rivalry as the teams are evenly matched. Usually, it’s a 1 goal game either way. As it turns out, a number of these players were at Wiss on waivers – so what? Wiss has put together a strong program, a good “product”, which has attracted a number of players that were released from their home clubs. Revoking these kids’ waivers is not only unfair to the kids, who have played together under the rules for the past 4 years, but tears apart a strong program. To what end?
      i. Answer: these kids did not go back to their home programs, but instead banded together to form an independent team with paid coaches.
      4. Parity cannot be achieved by simply sticking to school district boundaries. There is a reason that PIAA has 4 size based divisions. Central Bucks serves 150K residents compared to Springfield Spartans who serve 20K. You’ll never achieve parity when the top 20 out of a 100+ kids comprise the 1st team of one club and the top 20 out of 30 or 40 kids comprise the top team of others.
      5. In the end, SEPYLA’s waiver vote was: “Yes” to yield your Club’s right to grant a waiver to the Competition Committee, or “No” to let this right remain at the Club level
      a. In 2010, ALC received requests from 4 kids to play for other clubs. After we discussed the circumstances with each set of parents, we granted their requests – it was the right thing to do for these kids. Had we not granted the waivers, I’m some or all would have opted out of club lacrosse to simply play school lacrosse. In not granting these waivers, what would we have achieved? Conversely, there is at least one case that I know of where ALC refused a waiver to a kid who was viewed as integral to the development of the program. Again, as a club it’s been our right to do either.
      b. Further, the Dad of one of the kids we waived was an experienced coach who didn’t have a team at ALC. By granting the waiver, he was able to fill an opening at Wissahickon to the benefit of a number of youth players.
      c. Begs the question… Why would ALC want to yield the ability to manage our kids to the Competition Committee Bureaucracy???

      We fully support the idea of local lacrosse. In fact, CCLA has the SAME eligibility rules. We voted against the measure as proposed because it was unclear that positives would outweigh negatives.

      So, if the new eligibility rules did not affect ALC directly. And, we joined a league with the same eligibility rules as SEPYLA, then why did we move to CCLA?

      • Parity – we believe similar sized programs will translate to parity.
      • 50% more league games 12 vs. 8 – reduces the administrative headache of scheduling non league games.
      • Playoffs for our B2 and A2 levels – don’t need the headache or expense of trying to hunt down a year end event, like Liberty, which is now up to $750 per team.
      • SEPYLA is administratively challenged. I take my hat off to Tim and company for volunteering to take on what is clearly a monumental task. It’s to a point, however, where a basic league service like scheduling can’t be executed effectively.
      • SEPYLA is under tremendous strain trying to serve 37 clubs from 5 counties in 3 states. Many of these clubs are different in size and mission.
      • SEPYLA does not appear to have a longer term strategic plan. Or if it does, it has not been communicated. Without a strategic plan, it appears that decisions like eligibility rule changes or motions to throw teams out of the league are made on a whim.

      I don’t expect everyone to agree with our reasoning, but we made the decision for what we believe are the right reasons.

      I’ll sign off by correcting a misquote in Chris’ article… In deciding to make the change to CCLA, we carefully considered all the factors and weighed the pros and cons. Clearly the additional drive time for away games is a con… I hope the additional average drive time of 13 minutes will be worth it; time will tell if this was a prudent decision.

      I am sincere when I wish you all a terrific 2011 season and beyond. Remember, we are talking about kids here.

      Warm regards,
      Greg

      Greg Wilson, President
      Abington Lacrosse Club

      • Chris Fechter says:

        So you know I didn’t pull it out of thin air…please refernece your e-mail sent from you to SEPYLA members on 9/15/10. I will reach out to you, thanks for the note.
        CF

        • chillax says:

          Okay, I admit I was intrigued by this comment. I, too, received the above referenced e-mail and just looked at it again. Clearly, Greg was using sarcasm to make a larger point. It appears that you have taken the comment completely out of context.

  10. chillax says:

    Wow! And people say the political rhetoric in this country is uncivil! Let’s try to remember that this is all about the kids – not the egos of a bunch of grown men. Take a deep breath and move on. Spring is around the corner, let’s try to focus on the positives of our game and competition. And please, try to refrain from posting rumors and innacurate information – either knowlingly or unknowingly. Good luck to ALL teams this spring – more lax and more competition is good for all of us!

  11. Ashbee Board says:

    Let’s Set The Record Straight

    Ashbee Lacrosse Club’s A1 (7th and 8th grade) and B1 (5th & 6th grade) teams both won the SEPYLA championship last year. Of the twenty boys on the champion A1 team, exactly one player resided in another SEPYLA jurisdiction and that player had been properly waived by his home club back in the fourth grade. Of twenty-one boys on the champion B1 team, four lived in other SEPYLA jurisdictions and all were properly waived under SEPYLA rules. These numbers obviously do not constitute a “majority” of players. Ashbee complied with SEPYLA rules by timely submitting its rosters, unlike the majority SEPYLA clubs, particularly in the North Division, that never submitted any rosters. Ashbee is a community based organization, not a club team. Our rosters are an open book to all who may inquire about residency. As opposed to cheating, perhaps our success has more to do with the fact that our historic club takes pride in our product. Our program start in the first grade, unlike most SEPYLA clubs. We work to provide highly skilled coaching staffs to all of our teams. Most importantly, our players are dedicated to lacrosse as their primary spring sport, unlike many clubs where their players play lacrosse when they are not playing baseball.

    Ashbee’s vote against the new SEPYLA rule was not because we disagreed with residency restrictions, but rather we disagreed with the proposed structure of enforcement. Under the new rule, all waiver decisions are taken away from the member clubs and given to an unelected committee which meets behind closed doors. The resulting un-accountability and lack of transparency could potentially lead to quid-pro-quo deals and undue favoritism. Ashbee put its opinion in writing to all member clubs prior to the vote. In conjunction with the vote, Ashbee requested a bylaw change to provide that the committee be elected by league membership and be further subject to term limits. Our proposal was rejected and as a result we voted against the rule. It may interest the naysayers to know that our move to C.C.L.A. will result in stricter residency requirements for Ashbee. As a result all previous legally waived players have been forced to leave the Ashbee program.

    The article speaks for itself. Our move was prompted by our desire to play in an age-based system in compliance with US Lacrosse guidelines coupled with our desire to improve the quality of competition at all levels of play.

    The Board of Directors of the Ashbee Lacrosse Club

    • mike says:

      Where is Phil Poqui from?

    • DadofLax says:

      “Of twenty-one boys on the champion B1 team, four lived in other SEPYLA jurisdictions and all were properly waived under SEPYLA rules. These numbers obviously do not constitute a “majority” of players.” Four very skilled players can have a dramatic effect on a team. Not really sure what your point is here.

  12. BDCoach says:

    Greg Wilson and the Ashbee Board of Directors do not owe a single person an apology or explanation for their SEPYLA departure. They are solid programs not b/c they ‘cheat’, ‘recruit’, etc. It is because they are long standing programs with exceptional coaches who are committed to TEACHING KIDS HOW TO PLAY LACROSSE. New and rising programs will eventually get to their level if their local leaders and coaches stick to their programs as long as the leadership of Abbington and Ashbee have. I’m a youth coach in a neihboring club that pops into Ashbee practices to see how they run things. They are a class organization that has solid teams b/c they have great coaching. No one has the right to be angry with these programs for their move, get over it. There are 30 teams left in SEPYLA to compete against.

  13. Unionville Dad says:

    The more I hear about this crap about these 2 “youth” lacrosse programs, the most upset I get. Not only is it clear that Abington and Ashbee are club programs who recruit kids from outside their school districts, but has anyone from the Chester County programs looked to see how far away Abington is? It’s 50 miles ONE WAY from my house, and there are plenty of other parents in the Chester County Youth League who live a lot farther away from Abington than I do. Did anyone in the Chester County Youth Lacrosse League think about how much it’s going to cost us parents to drive to Abington for an away game? How about an away game during the week, when it might rain? Do you think I’m driving my son 100 miles round trip on a Wednesday night just to get rained out? I sincerely hope that Abington doesn’t stay in the Chester County league very long, because they clearly don’t belong.

    As for Ashbee, what school district are they from? I’ve never heard of the Ashbee School District, so it’s clear that even their name shows that they’re a club team. I remember in the not too distant past when there was a program called “Lower Merion Youth Lacrosse”, but then a bunch of Private School parents got involved and changed the name to Ashbee because it made them feel more elite. I was happy to hear recently that many disgruntled parents have already announced that “Lower Merion Youth Lacrosse” will once again start in the Lower Merion School District in the coming months. Good for you parents, I’m glad somebody’s doing something that makes sense in youth sports.

    • Harry says:

      How can you talk negatively about 2 programs that you basically know nothing about. If driving us the issue…then you have a decision to make or attend only the home games!!

    • Matt says:

      Unionville Dad,

      As a CCLA coach for 5 years who does not have a child, I can appreciate as much if not more the logistical challenges. That being said, these challenges would have existed in the CCLA regardless (think about Coventry to Avon Grove), or in the past anyone to Lower MaCungie(sp?), these represent just a few examples. These are challenges that face nearly all programs in some form or fashion.

      Second, the Ashbee program has been around since the 70′s, and has been called such for as long as I can remember. In fact when I was a youth player in the ealry 90′s Im nearly positive it was “Ashbee”. The Lower Merion Lacrosse program you noted to is the Girls program. If there is a new program, please provide a website or contact with that program, I would be interested in scheduling additional games.

      For the future, perhaps you can volunteer with your local program and look to provide your insight, and offer alternative solutions.

      Despite the challenges, Abington and Ashbee are strong programs which will enhance the CCLA, and ultimately benefit the kids.

    • LM Lax Dad says:

      Ashbee is from Lower Merion. The league was named for former Flyer Barry Ashbee, who was instrumental in the early days of youth lacrosse in Lower Merion. The change was made in 1977 after he died of cancer. You can find the full story at:http://www.ashbeelax.org/Page.asp?n=30216&org=ashbeelax.org

      …but I’m sure that you will accuse Ashbee of making up this story to make themselves feel more elite.

      We live in LM and I have 2 boys who played for Ashbee and now play in 1. high school (yes, at a private school) and 2. D3 college. I played growing up on Long Island and I can tell you that Ashbee wins because they have more players, great coaching and a great 1st and 2nd grade program.

      My sons also played hockey and our local club was always getting beaten by better clubs like Junior Flyers and would travel to tournaments and rarely come away with any hardware. It was sometimes frustrating as a parent but I never accused other clubs of cheating or some of the other charges that I see on this board. I just assumed that the kids in those clubs were more serious about hockey and the clubs had more depth and coaching.

      RELAX……..

  14. Player says:

    Did anyone ever notice that the SEPYLA league is the only sports league that I can think of that enforces boundary rules? If you play for a travel soccer or basketball team there is no such thing as a requirement to play for your own town. If you are serious about a sport and do not want to play for a township with a poor program that plays against poor competition you don’t have to! You have the option of playing for any club that you want to play for. I find it funny that the SEPYLA guys say that the area boundaries are for the kids, when they do all but that. SEPYLA is basically saying that a kid has no option but to play for his own township, no matter how poor the program may be. This rule exists simply because clubs that can never compete with Abington or Ashbee are run by people who think its more important that a good lacrosse player play for his team so that he may have a better shot at winning than hat kid being able to be the best player he can be.

    Also, to those that say that Abington and Ashbee recruit, you are falsely misinformed. In fact, kids, who are passionate about being a good lacrosse player but are stuck in clubs that prohibit that, approach Abingotn and Ashbee in hopes that they may be able to play for them. Abington and Ashbee are simply nice enough to allow kids to do that.

    • Clarify says:

      Off the top of my head, two leagues that strictly enforce boundary rules are Little League baseball and CCLA.

  15. Twilight says:

    I have been around local youth lacrosse leagues for a 5 years and I think they have it right regarding geographic boundaries. The recruitment free-for-all that occurs in soccer and baseball is probably what they are trying to prevent. The goal of any league is to try to schedule good, competitive games. Very hard to accomplish that if all of the ringers are recruited to or otherwise attracted to a certain program. There are plenty of off-season opportunities for good young lacrosse players to be on “all-star” teams. Keeping that business out of the Spring season is a good thing.

    Having read all of the comments generated by this seemingly harmless article, there is clearly some ill will surrounding Abington and Ashbee. Where there is smoke there is almost always fire. Sounds to me like they had better clean up their act 100% or they will run out of leagues to play in.

  16. The Obvious says:

    Who cares? Seriously…who cares either way. I’m guessing the same people who think La Salle shouldn’t have players from Doylestown are the same people who think Ashbee shouldn’t have players from wherever. This debate is as old as the PIAA…

  17. Scott Cherry says:

    I know high quality lacrosse people that oversee and coach in Ashbee and Abington. Granted, there are some players outside their immediate areas. Personally, I welcome the competition, because playing against better players no matter where they reside will only make my son a better player. He also knows kids from both organizations from summer club teams, so that will make it fun for him.

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