By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/5/14
For some, a trip to the local lacrosse retail store provides a chance to buy the latest gear or hottest new piece of apparel.
But for many, a trip to Competitive Edge in Wayne has always meant much more.
“Comp Edge is the lacrosse store version of ‘Cheers.’ It had all the warmth and homey feel of the general store, the family doctor’s office and the neighborhood pharmacy of yesteryear,” said Scott Growney, a longtime patron of the store. “Of course, being the place where they always knew your name, you could never just fly by the store and pick anything up.
“The greetings, the conversations, the stories, the updates, and the latest scuttlebutt was half the fun!”
Competitive Edge, a favorite destination for everything lacrosse, is closing the doors to its store at 21 West Avenue at the end of the month with a huge sale, with 25 percent off all heads, handles and equipment and reduced prices on apparel. By mentioning this article, customers also has get two pairs of Sox for $12, a savings of $8
The Comp Edge owners, Chris (Hup) Hupfeldt and wife Carole will continue to operate as a supplier of custom athletic gear and uniforms to teams and schools across the country. Competitive Edge will also be selling lacrosse apparel on the Internet and at lacrosse tournaments and events in the spring of 2015. Customers can stay connected through Facebook (Like us by clicking here or searching “Facebook Competitive Edge Outfitters”).
Competitive Edge has been in existence for 16 years and during that time the Hupfeldts and their store have become known for their love of lacrosse, their customers and the promotion of the sport that has grown so much during that period. The store may be closing, but the memories will never die.
“Chris and Carole Hupfeldt and their staff have been community assets with personal knowledge, contacts, insight and extensive reach for almost two generations,” said Growney, a longtime official with the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association and promoter of the sport in the region. “They have served the spectrum of needs for countless players, both boys and girls, involved at the youth and high school programs on the Main Line.
“They outfitted many a wide-eyed kid about to pick up the sport for the first time, tip to toe, and reassured nervous parents who were new to the sport that lacrosse would win them over on the merits. They were ‘spreaders,’ popularizing and growing the game with their passion.
“The ‘Huppies’ were also merchandizing aficionados without peer. Players would light up like kids in a candy store at all the offerings – equipment, apparel, and accessories, not to mention the pictures and the old sticks and helmets that were displayed like museum pieces. Parents (and grandparents) would too! Huppy could be a Hall of Famer solely as a result of his retail prowess and his considerable contribution to the game as the proprietor of a destination specialty store that so many fans of the game will deeply miss.”
It must be noted that Chris Hupfeldt indeed is headed to the Hall of Fame after being named as a 2015 inductee for the Eastern PA Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall that will be honored in February.
Tim Goldstein, a former college great at Cornell who settled in Philly’s Main Line years ago, agreed:
“I have three young kids that grew up loving the store; they’d pull sticks off the shelves and start breaking things and Hup would always (joke), ‘You are wrecking my store,” said Goldstein. “Now they are old enough to buy things there and old enough to remember those days fondly.
“I have had a long relationship with Hup and he always had time to interact. We had weekly talks about lacrosse. He could walk and talk lacrosse and there arenot many places that have that. It’s sad that he leaves. Hup is the King of Lacrosse knowledge; no matter what is was about, youth, high school, club, college, pro. He is a student of every level. I trust his opinions on the spot.”
Goldstein said several generations of players can look back at their days buying equipment at Competitive Edge.
“The programs in the area like Radnor, Conestoga, Haverford, EA are all great programs and they have all been touched by the Hups through their equipment and gear and the friends they have made,” he said. “They were like the Creator and Godfather of cool and colorful new gear.”
Chris and Carole Hupfeldt said they have enjoyed with with customers in the store and helping make the experience of purchasing apparel and gear special to every players and parent.
“The goal from the very beginning was to be knowledgeable about the sport while creating a friendly and accommodating store atmosphere for customers,” said the Hupfeldts. “Our store became a breeding ground for getting new players interested in playing lacrosse.
“In the Philadelphia region, we sold to kids their first lacrosse stick and equipment and proudly watched players and families develop a love and a passion for the game. Most of all, we would like to thank our loyal customers for their great support of Competitive Edge.”
Competitive Edge Outfitters is located at 21 West Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087. The telephone number is 610-293-9772.
The store is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m.