The high school season has been over for about a month. But there’s no more important time than right now for current high school players hoping to show their skills to college coaches.
Summer tournament action, most featuring travel teams, is at its peak. Last week, there were a host of major tournaments, including the Tri-State Tournament at Princeton University, the UMass Tournament and the Crab City Challenge in Baltimore.
Coming up July 18 and 19: the Hofstra Blue and Gold Showcase and the Fairfield University Sound Tournament.
The number of summer travel teams has surged in the last five years. When the WestRock program, which practices at Somers High School in New York, was launched in 2005, it was the only U-18 team in the Westchester County region. Now there are seven such teams.
This year, the importance of playing on a summer team has never been more important for players in New York. With no Empire State Games being held this summer, players have been scrambling to not only land spots on summer teams, but teams that play in many of the premier showcase events that traditionally draw the most college coaches.
Perhaps the most recognized of those events is the annual Battle of the Hotbeds July 26-29 at the University of Delaware.
“We believe that’s one of the best recruiting opportunities for high school kids,” WestRock director and U-18 team coach Lew Janavey said. “They get to play 13 games in four days.”
A new event has been added in New York that will be played a day before the Hotbeds tournament starts on July 25 at Henninger High School in Syracuse. It’s the New York Shootout presented by Nike for rising sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Teams participating will be: Hudson Valley (sections 1 and 9), Nassau (Section 8), Suffolk (Section 11), Central (Section 3), Southern Tier (Section 4), Buffalo (Section 6) Albany/St. Lawrence (sections 2 and 10) and Rochester (Section 5).
There’s also a big showcase this week — the Showtime Lacrosse National Recruiting Spotlight at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury July 13-16. There will be 160 players involved. Games will be played each day from 9-11 a.m., 1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.
Joe Lombardi, who has been a fixture on the lacrosse scene during the sport’s rapid growth in the New York metropolitan area, produces editorial and video content for LaxLessons.com. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.