Another great weekend with Adrenaline Lacrosse is in the books! This last weekend we were up in Seattle for the last West Coast Starz tryout of the year. We’ve been to all four of our sectional regions over the last few months, including, Utah, Arizona, SoCal and Washington or as we call them, the “Rocky Mountain, Desert, SoCal and Northwest” regions, respectively. On some occasions, these tryouts have coincided with LXM PRO weekends, which make for a fairly stressful few days for us, but this Seattle tryout weekend was only the tryouts, which meant we really had a chance to enjoy that beautiful city!
(VP of Adrenaline Events, Rory Doucette addresses players and parents after a great first day)
Each tryout was run in a similar fashion yet each differed from one another in various ways. Interestingly enough, Seattle was warm and sunny while Tucson, Arizona was freezing and dumping rain. We probably caught the best weekend weather wise that the Pacific Northwest is likely to see all winter, so naturally, we feel very fortunate.
Seattle was probably our second biggest tryout in terms of numbers, featuring players from our affiliate Rhino Lacrosse program in Oregon, teams throughout the Seattle Starz system, and talent from British Columbia, Canada. The talent across the board was pretty similar in each region although some regions seemed to be heavy on great defensemen where others were loaded with offensive threats. Seattle definitely featured some incredible defenseman at the middle school level, as well as showcasing the skills of a 2016 player we believe will be one of the best goalies to ever come out of the west.
For Peter Baum, a Portland, Oregon native (actually born in and lived in Seattle until he was 8) and former member of Rhino Lacrosse, this trip was especially exciting for him to be able to get back to his roots and help spread some lacrosse knowledge. At the end of the first session, Pete addressed the hundreds in attendance, and explained how proud he is of the giant leaps lacrosse in the Northwest has taken since he was a high school player. It was definitely a cool moment to see the Tewaaraton winner talking about his experiences with the next generation of Northwest lacrosse superstars!
Each tryout featured about 200 kids who could all play at a high level. I remember when I went to the first WCS “tryout” years ago at USC. I use the term tryout loosely because it was more of a practice session for the who’s who in western lacrosse and was looked at more as a chance for us to get to know one another. Simply put, the west coast wasn’t very deep as far as lacrosse was concerned and the teams were pretty much picked ahead of time. Don’t get me wrong, we had some incredible players back then but now there are a TON of incredible players and they’re coming from everywhere. The days where 4 or 5 kids commit to Division I programs over the course of one year are over. In fact, just in the past year, 84 Regional Starz players have committed to play at the NCAA level, with a majority of the commitments occurring in the past five months! It's been thrilling to witness and its been a joy to continue to be a part of it.
As I mentioned before, what also made this trip a little different, at least for us, was the fact that this tryout wasn’t run in conjunction with an LXM ATS event. Generally we would go to the tryout on Friday, play Saturday night and coach a team throughout the weekend. As you can imagine, wearing the various hats of evaluator, player and coach can pack a schedule pretty quickly. While we enjoy doing all of those things, it certainly limits our ability to spend quality time in whatever new city we’re lucky enough to be in.
Each day the tryout wrapped up at 1pm leaving us the afternoon and evening to explore the city. We went down by the water to Pike Place Market, ate at great restaurants, drank some great coffee and almost comically lived life “organically and sustainably” (as Peter Baum always likes to do)—part of the deal up there. Some highlights definitely included some delicious Pacific Northwest oysters, watching the famous fish market at the Pike abuzz with flying salmon, and the absolutely stunning view of Puget Sound. It was an incredible trip that showcased not only some of the most developed lacrosse talent in the Western U.S., but also an incredibly vibrant and beautiful city that was a blast to visit.
(This dude was about to catch a huge flying salmon--If I was a decent photographer I would have captured it in the act.)
(These little fellas were delicious. Nothing like some local oysters, eh PB15?)
(We ate some great food throughout the weekend but this Seattle Dog may have topped everything, with everything topped on it. See what I did there? Photo cred to PB15 on this one. Needless to say, he wasn't exactly scared of it.)
(Right in his element)
(The classic tourist photo. Had a blast in Seattle!)