By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/23/12
Play began today for 244 boys’ lacrosse teams teams in the annual Summer Slam at Episcopal Academy, Westtown School and Bayard Rustin.
The tourney – run by Victory Events (Pattison Sports Group and NXTsports) – features boys’ teams from youth to high school. Divisions include U9, U11A, U11B, U13A, U13B, U15AA, U15A, U15B, HSB, HAS and HSAA.
Games start at 8 a.m. on both days and each division plays to a championship. Teams play at least four games.
“The turnout is great, the weather is great and we have three great venues,” said NXTSports President Andy Hayes, the coach at Episcopal Academy.
Hayes said at least 30 college coaches are expected to attend the high school AA and A games at Episcopal. The event highlight will be the inaguural High School AA All-Star game tonight at EA at 7 p.m. The game will feature two players from each of the 18 high school AA teams.
“We wanted an extra little piece for the AA division and to showcase some of the uncommitted kids here,” said Hayes.
The high school AA division features teams from all around the country – including Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Massachusetts and North Carolina as well as from traditional hotbeds at Long Island and Baltimore. Philly teams included NXT 2014, the Dukes, HEADstrong and Baggataway Elite.
NXT 2014 got off to a 3-0 start, playing American Revolution (Ind.), Blue Devil Elite (Fla.) and Cash Cow (Mich.).
“The goal for our team is to check in,” said NXT coach Marty Kupprion. “We practice a lot and we’re big at develop9ing the players. There is not as much stress on winning the championship at every tournament.
“It’s nice to get exposure against teams from around the country. Our first game was against American Revolution; they had players from 12 or 13 states. Then we played Blue Devil Elite from Florida and then Cash Cow from Michigan. It’s great for our kids to see them; and great for them to come here for the quality of lacrosse back East.”