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What region has the best face-off specialists? The I-95 Cup to decide team champion among Philly, MD/VA, NJ, NY

Tuesday, 31st March 2015

Categories Boy's/Men's, Events, High School, Tournaments, Posted 3/31/15
From Press Release

As a face-off specialist, do you ever sit back and wonder what area of the country produces the best at the X? Ever read about face-off guys from other areas and wish you could go against them?

Thanks to YouTube and social media, we live in a world where you can see and hear about different face-off players from all over the country on a regular basis. Years ago, the only time you ever heard about face-off guys from different areas might’ve been at a random summer lacrosse camp or in a magazine.I95 face off

So who has the best face-off players? New York? Maryland? Philly? There are individual tournaments out there such as the FOA National Showcase, where individual players are crowned champions, but what area has the overall majority of talented face-off guys?

The I-95 Cup is not your ordinary face-off tournament. It’s the ultimate challenge to see which AREA of the country has the most talented face-off midfielders. The top 10 players from Philly, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland/Virginia will meet Aug. 16 in Philadelphia’s Maple Zone Sports Institute in Garnet Valley for a 1-day tournament in an intense, never before seen style tournament.

Who is choosing these teams?

Anybody familiar with the face-off position in lacrosse has heard of the prestigious Face-Off Academy and their coaches. If you follow college lacrosse at all you will see a lot of the dominant face-off guys in the game today have worked and trained with FOA coaches. Greg Gurenlian, Chris Mattes, and Jerry Ragonese are constantly traveling the country working with face-off athletes. When they are not on the road, all three have set up training combines where they live. Greg Gurenlian runs a daily face-off combine in New York City, Chris Mattes runs his in Maryland, and Jerry in New Jersey. All three FOA coaches will represent and coach their respective AREAS at the I-95 Cup.

The Philadelphia team will be chosen by Philly Face-Off League co-founders John Bodnar and Mike Dolente. Both highly respected face-off coaches in the area, the Philly Face-Off League is where the most elite face-off midfielders in the Greater Philly area can practice and train together on a weekly basis.

How are these teams getting chosen?

Each area will host a tryout on a specific date. (See list at bottom with links to registration)

All New York players will tryout with Greg Gurenlian at his FOA NYC location on July 30 at Randalls Island Field 72.

All Pennsylvania players will tryout with John Bodnar and Mike Dolente at their PFL location, at at Mainline Sports Center, Berwyn.

All Maryland players will tryout with Chris Mattes at his Maryland FOA location at JDyer Sports & Conditioning in Cockeysville.

All New Jersey players will tryout with Jerry Ragonese at his NJ location at Snyder Ave Park Turf Field, Berkeley Heights.

How is this tournament going to work?

Each team will have to play each other once in order to determine playoff seedings. When a matchup between two regions has started, it’s a 10 round best of 7 face-offs. At the start of each round, there will be a coin toss. The losing team has to send out their first face-off guy. This gives the other team the opportunity to see who they are sending, and the coach of that team will choose who will face him.

For example, New York is playing Philadelphia in the first round of the day. New York loses the coin toss and therefore has to send out their first face-off guy. Philadelphia sees who they are sending and sends out somebody who they feel is a strong favorite to win. Let’s say the New York player pulls the upset and wins his best of 7 with a score of 4-2. Because the NY player won, he is automatically awarded 3 extra points. Therefore the final score is 7-2. This score then gets reported to the scorekeeper, and Philly then has to send out its next player for the second matchup. Whoever loses that next matchup will have to send out the next player, and vice-versa until all 10 players have faced each other. Whatever team has the most points at the end of the 10 face-off battles wins.

This format continues until every team has played every team. After all 3 rounds, the total points that each team scored in every matchup will be counted and the team with the most points will be the #1 seed. In the playoffs, the #1 seed will play the #4 seed, and the #2 seed will play the #3. The winners will play in the championship and the losers will fight for 3rd place.
Again, this is NOT an individual tournament; it’s all about winning for your AREA. This is strictly bragging rights for a whole year until next August!

TEAM NEW YORK – 7/30/15 from 5pm – 7pm at Randalls Island Field #72 (71 Randalls Island New York, NY 10035)
Contact: Greg Gurenlian (
Register Now:

TEAM PENNSYLVANIA – 7/30/15 from 5pm – 7pm at Mainline Sports Center (1340 Swedesford Rd. Berwyn, PA 19312)
Contact: John Bodnar of the Philly Faceoff League (
Register Now:

TEAM DMV – 8/4/15 from 10AM – 12PM at JDyer Sports & Conditioning (10534 York Rd. Suite 104 Cockeysville, MD)
Contact – Chris Mattes (
Register Now:

TEAM NJ – 7/30/15 from 5PM – 7PM at Snyder Ave Park Turf Field (216 Snyder Ave. Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922)
Contact – Jerry Ragonese (
Register Now:


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