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2019 LaxAllStars GROW THE GAME AWARD Presented to Tri-Lakes Youth Lacrosse

By Dan Witmer, 08/01/19, 10:15AM EDT

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Summit Lacrosse Ventures and LaxAllStars will present their second annual “Grow The Game Award” to Tri-Lakes Youth Lacrosse on Thursday, August 8, when the Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic celebrates its 30th year. 

When the Summit Lacrosse Tournament began in 1990, there was no youth lacrosse program in Lake Placid or Saranac Lake and only one girl’s youth program in the entire North Country region of the Adirondacks. That all changed in 2001, when Bill Larzelere and his family moved into the area from Westchester County, NY. With two lacrosse-playing children and no clubs or teams in the area, he and Kathleen started the Tri-Lakes Youth Lacrosse. They did it all, from getting not-for-profit status to running the concession stands at tournaments. Now there are 125 youth players in the program consistently. 

In 2005, Chris and Lora Grant and their son and daughter came to the area from New Jersey where both their children played youth lacrosse. The Grants joined the Tri-Lakes team, working side by side with Bill until 2016.

For the past three years, Garrick and Tracey Smith have taken over the day to day operations. Tri-Lakes Youth Lacrosse not only created youth teams for both boys and girls, taking their teams to tournaments at Sackets Harbor and Saratoga as well as hosting their own tournaments, but their leadership also helped negotiate the first sports merger between the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake school districts for boys and girls to play varsity lacrosse. Today there are numerous mergers between the two school districts that allow scholastic athletes in small school districts to play the different sports they enjoy with a critical mass of players. 

Tri-Lakes Youth Lacrosse has benefitted from the efforts and hours of many other leaders. Dermott Morgan was the new coach of the just-formed Saranac Lake HS varsity boys’ team and supported the youth program. Going forward with the help of people like Lee Quaintance, Jeanne Duguay, John Muldowney, Tom Goodnough, Jim Murnane, Patty Reynolds, Phoebe Burns, and Matt Norfolk, Tri-Lakes Youth Lacrosse now has teams for boys and girls at every grade level and has seen its past participants succeed at the scholastic and college levels. In fact, several former players in the program are now coaching the next generation of Tri-Lakes lacrosse players. 

This year’s 30th Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Tournament takes place Monday, August 5 through Sunday, August 11. More than 250 teams will compete in 20 different age group divisions on 12 different fields. The Legends Foundation awards ceremony, which also includes the induction of three new Lake Placid Legends and other award presentations, will take place at 7 PM at the Intervale Lodge, at the base of the Olympic ski jumps, across the street from the Lake Placid Horse Show Grounds.