By Anthony Caruso
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/1/14
This past Saturday, the Philadelphia Wings hosted a special lacrosse experience at the Wells Fargo Center before their season finale against the Colorado Mammoth.
The extremely busy sports arena welcomed the NXT Sports Trashcan Experience outside the arena in Lot E nearest to Lincoln Financial Field. The event was held between 5 pm and 7 pm, before fans went inside to watch the Wings game.
“I think it’s a great relationship that NXT Sports and the Wings have to do this at our last home game,” said Wings player Brett Manney, who also works for NXT Sports as Director of Showcase Lacrosse. “This gives the fans to come to a Wings game, experience Trashcan lacrosse, the dunk tank, and the fastest shot. It’s great that so many kids are out here.”
The event had a very successful turnout, as it was the first time that NXT Sports and the Wings partnered together to put this event on. The main focus of the event was the 2-on-2 trashcan lacrosse games.
For much of the event, there were 3 to 4 games of Trashcan lacrosse going on with tennis balls instead of the normal lacrosse ball. Not only were teenagers playing against each other, but Manney and Bob Guzik joined in the action.
“The best thing about Trashcan lacrosse is it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, it allows everyone to play together,” said Manney. “An 8-year-old and a 12-year-old could easily beat myself and another 8-year-old. This relates to all age groups and this sport is all about having fun.”
While Manney said he could have easily lost, that was not the case in her two games. He went 2-0 before leaving the NXT Sports event to head inside to start preparing for his final regular season game of the season.
“I was just picking some kids to play trashcan with,” said Manney. “Thankfully, my teams went 2-0 in the games. In this game, it’s all about your skills and getting better.”
Two of the players that Manney was playing in the game with were from the Guzik family. This family has been highly involved in Trashcan and Bandits experience at Citizens Bank Park, the NovaCare Complex before last year’s NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship at Lincoln Financial Field, among other places.
“Well, we came for the Wings game, but then we found out about NXT Sports putting together this Trashcan event,” said Kristen Guzik. “We’ve been to other NXT Trashcan lacrosse events before.
“We know Brett Manney, Coach (Marty) Kupprion through these events. It’s a nice, fast-paced game for kids and families.”
At the Fastest shot competition, a young teenager hit 71 mph’s. The next closest competitor was 68 mph.
There was also a time, where the wind knocked down the fastest shot, and the teenagers worked together with the NXT Sports staff to set it back up quickly.
Trashcan lacrosse has been around since 2008 thanks to an invention by Andy Hayes and Peter Lawrence. Lawrence is the Hartford men’s lacrosse head coach, while Hayes is the Episcopal Academy head coach and also the CEO and President of NXT Sports.
Lawrence travels all over the country to run camps on Trashcan lacrosse. In the games, one of the players has to be a goalie during the games, causing the players to learn other positions.
“It’s more about stick skills and being able to use the stick,” said Bob Guzik. “You also have to learn how to pass and play together with a partner, which hopefully will translate to the field, whether you’re playing outside or in box lacrosse. This shows kids that it’s not all about being an offensive player.”
There was also a Trashcan tournament towards the end of the event. The winners of the event signed a trashcan lid that went in their office afterwards.
With the success of this first-time event, Manney believes that this event will be able to come back in the future. But due to the weather, it would have to be at the Wells Fargo Center in March or April.
“I hope next season, we can get this relationship started a little sooner,” he said. “We would also need to get this promoted ahead of time, and getting Trashcan lacrosse and the fan base more involved.
“It’s a whole lot of fun for families, as they get to experience this fast growing sport, along with the Wings game. It’s the best of both world’s for young lacrosse players and parents.”
The Guzik family was impressed with how fast lacrosse is growing. They believe that one day, lacrosse will be recognized as one of the top 4 sports in America.
“Yes, I definitely, it will be one of the Top 4 sports in the US one day,” said Kristen Guzik. “It’s catching on so fast, and I think the partnership between the Wings and NXT gives kids an opportunity to make a connection. It also helps them with being role models to our children and the children all over the lacrosse world.”