The 24th Annual Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic was a good economic boost for the Adirondack region.
The rich history and legacy of college lacrosse will play out next month when the 24th Annual Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic returns to this two-time Winter Olympic village.
Upwards of 17 alumni teams, representing the most accomplished college programs in the nation, will take to the fields of the Lake Placid Horse Show Grounds on Route 73, near the ski jumps. The scholastic divisions begin the tournament, scheduled for Aug. 5-11.
Syracuse University is among the elite teams that can be found in the mix for NCAA honors each year, and will be represented in Lake Placid’s alumni competition. The Orange claim 11 NCAA championships dating back to 1983, and in the past, have brought legendary players such as the Gait brothers (Gary and Paul) to the Summit Tournament. In all, the school has had 27 Final Four appearances, six runner-up finishes and 12 four-time All Americans.
Syracuse alum Mike Leveille, son of Tournament Director George Leveille and brother of Assistant Tournament Director Kevin Leveille, won the 2008 National Championship along with the Tewaaraton Trophy, awarded to the collegiate player of the year. Mike Leveille will be competing in the Open Division of the Summit Tournament that started when he was only five years of age.
The Georgetown Hoyas alumni team first came to Lake Placid in 2012, and are headed to the Summit Tournament with a purpose.
“Our primary goal was to rekindle some of the fire that led Georgetown to national prominence in the late 1990s when we made the NCAA tournament for the first time in 1997, quarterfinals in 1998 and Final Four in 1999,” said team leader Arthur Price. “Those teams had great camaraderie and work ethic. We had a lot of blue collar players who wanted to make a name for themselves and the program, and we were led by the legendary Coach Dave Urick. This year we will be playing to honor the career of Coach Urick. He has had a big impact on all of our lives.”
Hoya alums will include attackmen Greg McCavera, Andy Flick and Pete Velepec, defensemen Greg Papa, Chris Tully and Brian Samson, middies Greg Lawler, Mike Henehan, Keith Baker, Tom Tamberino, Matt Gallagher, Art Price and Scott Doyle, and goalie Danny Mooney.
The Cornell University alumni team, known as the Big Red Steelheads, is a national lacrosse club comprised of four decades of past and current Cornell Big Red players. The Lake Placid tournament is on their schedule each summer.
As much as the Steelheads enjoy the competition, they also pursue a loftier mission. The team is the brainchild of former Big Red goalie Matthew Norfolk, now a Lake Placid attorney. Norfolk formed the team to honor college roommate and teammate David Holder.
The player, who wore number 28 and graduated in 1995, succumbed to a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008.
“David touched the lives of many of the Cornell lacrosse family and was a great competitor on and off the lacrosse field,” said Norfolk. “It is the goal of the Big Red Steelheads to include more past and present players to compete for many years to come in the Lake Placid Summit Tournament, and celebrate being a part of the Cornell lacrosse family and tradition, while raising money for the David L. Holder Education Foundation. It’s a not-for-profit organization committed to supporting organizations that David cared about, and build new, enduring relationships and programs in the communities that he supported.”
Ohio Wesleyan University alums have been a fixture in Lake Placid since 2006, bringing players to the event that initially carved the school’s lacrosse name on the national landscape.
In addition, the alumni field will include teams from Union College, Colgate University, the University of Pennsylvania, Nazareth College, Princeton, Denison University, the University of Virginia, Syracuse University, Johns Hopkins, the University of Massachusetts and others.
In all nearly 500 lacrosse games are planned on 12 fields all located a short distance from Lake Placid. With approximately 4,000 players from across the country and 1.5 additional visitors per player, an estimated 9,500 guests will create significant economic impact in Lake Placid over the seven days of the event. The Lake Placid Visitors Bureau and Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism estimate direct spending from the tournament will exceed $4 million.
Tournament week begins with the scholastic divisions taking center stage from Monday through Wednesday afternoon. Thereafter, adult division action takes over beginning Wednesday afternoon and continues through the weekend. Saturday is the marquis day of the entire week as play-off games will be held in eight divisions, and will feature well-known teams and individuals.
Follow the 2013 Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Tournament on its’ state-of-the-art web platform (lakeplacidlax.com), powered by Sport NGIN.