LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Seven different lacrosse teams were crowned champions and a professional women’s title was celebrated Wednesday afternoon at the 28th annual Lake Placid Summit Classic.
Sidelines were jammed packed at the North Elba Athletic Fields from morning to dusk as the scholastic portion of the Summit Classic wrapped up in what became an incredible display of talented lacrosse players from across the country.
In the boys’ brackets, SweetLax (2018-2019 Gold), Team 91 (2018-2019 Silver), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (2020-2021 Gold) and Gaffers Elite (2020-2021 Silver) earned championship victories. Meanwhile in the girls’ brackets, the Golden Domers Notre Dame-committed squad (Northstar division), Mass Elite Red (2018-2020 ) and Virginia Metro (2021-2022 Gold) claimed division titles.
“This was one of the most competitive scholastic tournaments we’ve seen, maybe the most competitive ever, with a great mix of teams represented among the winners,” said Kevin Leveille, Brand and Event Director for Summit Lacrosse Ventures.
“We love to see so many talented teams which come up here for the experience but give everything they’ve got on the field in hopes of winning one of the coveted Summit Classic championships.”
As each team was presented with their official Summit Classic championship t-shirt, tournament Co-Directors Leveille and Ashley (Gersuk) Murphy took time to tell each team about one of the event’s key initiatives – the Summit Lacrosse Society.
The Summit Lacrosse Society, developed over the past 28 years, but introduced in 2016, established a community code of conduct embodied by Summit Lacrosse Ventures’ events. It emphasizes respect, competition and camaraderie – virtues the company hopes defines the culture at its tournaments and camps, and the lacrosse community at large.
“We launched the Summit Lacrosse Society to make a positive impact on lacrosse and help reinforce leadership as a big takeaway from our events,” Leveille told the first champions honored Wednesday.
Murphy continued: “You all represent the next generation of leaders in our sport. You have the opportunity to represent the Summit Society principles of competition, camaraderie, and respect. We challenge to you to honor the game by how you carry yourselves both on and off the field, not just here, but in your lives going forward.” \
Each team coach was asked to select an MVP, while the coach of the runner-up in each division was asked to choose a Summit Society Sportsmanship award recipient. Both the MVP and the Summit Society winners were honored with custom Lake Placid Summit Classic Nike backpacks.
A major on-field event taking place just moments after the last of the scholastic victors were crowned, the Summit Classic hosted the championship finale of the United Women’s Lacrosse League.
The Long Island Sound, last year’s winner in the first year of the women’s professional league, entered the game as favorites and rolled to a 16-8 victory, powered by four goals and one assist from MVP Christina Esposito, a Northwestern University alumna.
Esposito said the opportunity to expose Summit Classic attendees to the league was an important one.
“To start anything you have to get it out there, and that’s why this venue was so awesome, to play here in front of all these girls who are coming up to have a fun weekend of lacrosse,” she said.
“That’s what this league is all about – not only growing the game, but it’s an opportunity for us that we’ve never had before.”
A longtime attendee of the Summit Classic himself, Long Island head coach Regy Thorpe said his team was well aware of the history of the event and valued the chance to play the title game on the same day as the scholastic title games in Lake Placid.
“It’s certainly special,” said Thorpe, who coached the Storm to an undefeated 8-0 record this season.
“There’s such a tradition up here in Lake Placid for lacrosse. In the second year of the league, to have our championship in such a prestigious place, it’s awesome. I’d like to thank (tournament Co-Founder) George Leveille and his staff for having us. It’s a huge honor and we’re just really excited to be a part of it, and hope to be part of it in the future.”
Wednesday evening at the Summit Classic marked the beginning of the most senior of the tournament’s brackets. The Past Masters (60 and older), Ultra Grand Masters (55 and older) and Super Grand Masters (50 and older) divisions each kicked off play.
“This is what makes the Summit Classic so special,” said George Leveille, who started the tournament in 1990 along with his friend and fellow lacrosse player, Mike DeRossi.
“When the dust settles from an unforgettable scholastic tournament, we welcome the most seasoned veterans to the field and watch them celebrate years of friendships and their love for the game.”
While the eldest men’s divisions will eye their respective championships to be played Friday, the remaining adult divisions will begin play Thursday morning. This year’s tournament features seven men’s and three women’s divisions.
“We’re expecting one of the best years yet in terms of talent and competition,” Kevin Leveille said. “This is when a lot of the game’s greatest players are still in their prime and it’s incredible to see them really let loose up here in a unique setting with their families watching on the sideline.”
Families are expected to gather Thursday evening for another Summit Classic tradition.
Two new Legends of Placid Lacrosse will be inducted when Summit Lacrosse Ventures staff honors Greg Gebhardt and Anthony Ortolano, two individuals who over the years have made key contributions to the growth and sustainability of the tournament. The ceremony will be held at the Sugar Shakers Tent on the North Elba Athletic Fields at 6 p.m.
A $5 donation will be collected, with proceeds to benefit City Lax, an organization that brings lacrosse into New York City schools and lower income geographies which historically have had little or no access to the game.
You can follow all of the week’s activities by using the hashtags #laxplacid and #lakeplacidlax on social media.
For more information on the Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic, including schedules and score updates, please visit summitlacrosseventures.com.