By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/4/12
Eight elite club teams – including the Duke’s Lacrosse Club 1 & 2 squads, Mesa Fresh and Tri-State – will compete in the inaugural Big 4 Champions League tournament on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Penn Charter.
The championship tournament also features the Baltimore Crabs, Leading Edge (N.J.), SweetLax (MA), and Elev8 (Alberta, Canada). The event is the kickoff to the Big 4 Invitational Showcase, which features many top players in the Philadelphia area on Sunday at Shipley School.
The teams in the Champions League tournament will showcase mostly uncommitted players from the sophomore and junior classes with some uncommitted seniors and limited committed players.
“When I look at the names, this might be one of the better small tournaments to ever take place in the area,” said Dukes head coach Ebe Helm. “Every team brings a different level of competition. Each team has a pedigree of who they are and how they compete.”
Rundowns on the club teams:
The Duke’s LC will be entering the Champions League after a very strong summer season. Duke’s 1 and the class of 2015 team won every tournament it participated in (including Champ-camp, Crab-feast, and Tri-State) and lost only two games in the Summer of 2012. The Duke’s LC boasts three players ranked in the Inside Lacrosse top 10 Young Gun Seniors, and already has eight sophomores in the class of 2015 verbally committed to NCAA Division 1 schools. The Duke’s LC has won six of the last seven Champ Camp national titles.
Mesa Fresh has established itself as a force since being founded in 2007. Since its inception, Mesa Fresh LC has won Dick’s tournament of Champions, Battle of the Hotbeds, Lax Max, Summer Sizzle, and Lava Lax, among others.
Tri-State founder, Bob Turco, is in the NJ chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame, was voted “Coach of the Year” in 1988, and “Lacrosse Man of the Year” in 1992. Tri-State has won numerous events, and is the team that unseated Duke’s LC to win the 2011 Champ Camp title.
The Baltimore Crabs 2014 team went a perfect 39-0 throughout the 2012 year and won the NSCLA, MVP, and Crab City tournaments during the Summer of 2012. Six Crabs alumni from the 2011 team suited up for ACC schools during the 2012 NCAA season.
Each year over 500 players tryout for spots on Leading Edge’s elite team which is based out of NJ. The Leading Edge Elite 2014 team won King of the Hill, Jersey Shootout, and the NSCLA Young Guns tournaments during the Summer of 2012.
SweetLax LC fills its roster with players from Upstate New York, New England, and Native American Reservations. SweetLax currently has 12 players committed to ACC schools within the classes of 2013, 2014, and 2015. Since its inception the club has won the Hobart Team camp, Maverik Big Time Shootout, IAS Ice Out, and Yale Bulldog tournaments among others.
Geoff Snider (Canadian Men’s National Team member and NLL all-star) started the Elev8 LC in 2009 and fills his roster with the best lacrosse players from Western Canada. Elev8 LC is based out of Calgary. Seven of the players on Elev8 will be entering the Champions league fresh off a Minto Cup Championship (the Minto Cup is the National Championship for Canadian box lacrosse). The Elev8 players are eager to show NCAA coaches that they are next in the long line of Canadian players that have had immense success at the NCAA level.
There are still spots available for the showcase. Info on the Big 4 Invitational Showcase can be found here: http://www.big4lax.com/Big_4_Lacrosse/Invitational_Showcase.html