adidas National Lacrosse Classic set for July 18-20
By Jason Bryant
adidas Lacrosse release
adidas Lacrosse and Level 2 Sports announced a partnership that will present the inaugural adidas National Lacrosse Classic at the Maryland Soccerplex on July 18-20, 2008 in Germantown, Md.
The event will showcase the top 500 high school lacrosse players consisting of rising sophomores, juniors and seniors in a 20-team format.
“We see Level 2 Sports as a tremendous strategic partner,” said John Purnell of adidas Lacrosse. “They have a deep love of the game and a great devotion to provide greater access for all underclassmen lacrosse players to the highest level of competition.”
Before players get the chance to compete in the adidas National Lacrosse Classic, regional teams will be designated by high school and club coaches April through June. These regional qualifiers will decide the 20 teams on display for college coaches and fans in July.
Level 2 Sports Director Joel Franklin explained there is a need for the event.
“We feel the timing is right for an individually-based tryout process for the high school underclassmen that will help identify the top players in the nation. The adidas National Lacrosse Classic will enable more deserving players an affordable opportunity to showcase their skills and athletic ability on a non-exclusive format open to all players,” said Franklin.
“The sport of lacrosse is one of the fastest growing team sports in the country,” said Franklin. “There are hotbeds in certain parts of the country, like Baltimore and Long Island, but it’s growing towards the South and the West.”
What Level 2 Sports and adidas Lacrosse are doing is creating showcase events for one core group of lacrosse players that don’t have the big national competition – high school underclassmen.
“There are individual player camps and high school club teams that offer competitive play and an opportunity for exposure to college recruiting. With the rapid growth of the sport, we are seeing more and more playing opportunities at the high school and club level. However; the college level is not growing at the same rate which has created a need to standardize events that enable all high school players with the same opportunity to compete and showcase their talent. There are no national events that accommodate an unlimited amount of individual players for the purpose of showcasing and measuring their skills against their peers.”
The adidas National Lacrosse Classic will rectify that dilemma.
“Having Level 2 Sports as an event partner with the adidas National Lacrosse Classic is a great opportunity for us at adidas Lacrosse,” said Jeff Bowyer of adidas Lacrosse. “They’re a passionate group and really care about the athlete, something we also share at adidas Lacrosse.”
Eight regions have been designated and each region will qualify anywhere from one to four teams to the adidas National Lacrosse Classic. One team will qualify from the West and Southwest regions, two will qualify from the Midwest, while three each will participate from the Central, East, Northeast and Southeast Regions. Traditionally a fertile recruiting ground for the next generation of lacrosse players, the Mid-Atlantic Region will qualify four teams of the 20 for the National event.
Seventeen cities will serve as hosts for players trying out for their respective regional teams. Cities include: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Columbus (Ohio), Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Princeton (N.J.), Philadelphia, Long Island (N.Y.), St. Louis, Boston, Rochester (N.Y.), Baltimore, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Greensboro and Orlando.
“The high school coaches themselves have been hired to attend those tryouts and field the strongest regional team,” explained Franklin. “We’re truly trying to put the best players on a team and bring those teams into one venue and play them off for a national championship.”
One of the unique features that the adidas National Lacrosse Classic offers is that the team that claims the championship will have the opportunity to represent the United States in international competition against Canada in December for the Brogden Cup, a historic trophy that resides in the Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame in Baltimore.
“The Brogden Cup dates back a generation,” said Franklin. “It was presented to the North American Champion based on the outcome from a game between the best post-collegiate club teams in the U.S. and Canada.”
“After the creation of Major League Lacrosse, the Cup sat around collecting dust.”
“With the support of adidas Lacrosse and others, we are renewing the Brogden Cup Series,” he said. “Instead of making it a post-collegiate club championship event, we’re making it a North American high school underclassmen championship that will determine and recognize the best region of players in North America.”
“To be able to tie in an international event into this national event is a brand new concept. It’s very unique and exciting,” said Franklin.
The adidas National Lacrosse Classic also provides competitors unique opportunities and benefits, including exposure to college coaches, national team apparel, the opportunity to be selected to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) National Lacrosse Team, DVD filming of each regional and national event, contact database of NCAA college lacrosse coaches, online academic and athletic profiles, academic and athletic timeline blueprint that will better prepare the student-athlete for the college admissions and athletic recruitment process.
Franklin lauded the partnership with adidas Lacrosse.
“adidas is a very recognizable global brand, that’s first and foremost,” said Franklin. “Being around as long as they’ve been around really transcends down to a sense of quality and we like that.”
“adidas Lacrosse provides the entire package to a lacrosse player, male or female. They offer equipment, footwear, uniforms, hard goods and a global brand. They are an excellent resource for the lacrosse player.”
“adidas Lacrosse brings more than just a title sponsor. They become an event partner and assist in ensuring a quality event for everyone.” said Franklin.
One aspect of the adidas National Lacrosse Classic that Franklin’s excited about is the opportunity to aid programs on the next level with the growth of their programs.
“It’s going to affect programs at all levels both male and female – from the Division I down to the Division III and college clubs,” explained Franklin. “College coaches today have to go to more venues to see players. Three or four years ago, they could go to three or four club lacrosse team and individual player events to see the bulk of the talent; now college coaches are spread out all over the place and their recruiting calendar is extended.”
“The adidas National Lacrosse Classic is an event that’s going to consolidate all that. It will help the college coaches shorten their recruiting calendar and see the best underclassmen in the country in one location.”
Additionally, the event will benefit organizations such as R.E.A.C.H.E.S (Rewarding Education Athletic Choices Helping Each Sport) a non-profit organization founded in 2007 to promote, protect and preserve amateur athletics in its truest form.
R.E.A.C.H.E.S. provides athletic opportunities to student-athletes of all ages and abilities in a unique environment with the profits of each event earmarked for specific needs in that sport. For more information about R.E.A.C.H.E.S. visit www.reachessports.org .
About Level 2 Sports
Level 2 Sports was formed to develop an easy to follow blueprint for student athletes in order to help them meet their aspirations and to play sports at the next level. www.level2sports.com