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Road Trip Dad - Lake Placid - Day Two

By Dan Witmer, 08/04/16, 11:00AM EDT


I heard it more than once on Tuesday – “You can’t get better weather than this.” And I may have said it once or twice myself. Tuesday was an absolutely beautiful day in Lake Placid…


Looking at the lush green fields, you would never know about the rain rain that wouldn’t go away on Day One. There was no mud. There were no puddles. Sunscreen came out on Day Two like Day One umbrellas…


Most every team played their third and fourth games of the week on Tuesday, with the top four in each of nine divisions playing semi-finals in the afternoon. Everyone wraps up tomorrow with a fifth game, with nine different championships set to take place – two at 10:05 AM, three at 11:10 AM, and four at 12:15 PM.


In the scholastic boys divisions, the 2017-2018 Gold division will be won by either FCA National or Sweetlax. In the Silver, it will be the FCA Super Sophs and the CNY Roadhawks. In the Bronze, it’s ADK Northmen vs. the Atlantic Patriots. In Boys 2019-2021 Gold, we’ve got Sweetlax and FCA, and in the Silver division, the finalists are Albany Power Blue and Catamount Tan.


On the girls’ side, the High School Gold final is between the Incredibles and the Baby Blues. The Silver championship has the Lady Roadhawks and Team Elevate, while Salt City and Mass Elite White are in the Bronze final. In the younger girls’ division (2020-2021), VA Metro and M&D Black will face off in the final.


There were 89 games on Day One. There were 90 on Day Two. As games finished, workers at each score table were responsible for sending me a photo of their score sheet. I then recorded each round’s scores, then uploaded (is that the correct term?) the scores on to the computer program that reports scores on the tournament website AND forwards each team into its next game. Once I loaded all the scores, I then filled in my paper copy of the schedule and then filled out the corresponding scores on the over-sized schedule boards that are out for all to see. To be honest, by the time I was done reporting and recording each round’s scores – in four places, it was almost time for the next round’s results to start coming in.


I was occasionally slowed by incomplete score sheets, or sheets that for one reason or another didn’t show an obvious and definite final score. Sheets would show 6 goals for the first half and 9 goals for the second half but the final score was 9-5. Hmm. Another sheet would show a halftime score of 5-1 and no score for the second half or final score. Hmm. Another sheet had a box score like this:





Another one had a thumb over the final score in the bottom right corner of the photo. Hmm.


My favorite photo, though, was of a BLANK score sheet. I was about to explode and go tattle on the guilty culprit, but then an accompanying text followed, with a message that went something like, “Just a test. I’ve never sent a text photo before. Hope this works.” Now THAT made me smile; I could certainly relate. A photo of a complete and accurate score sheet came a few minutes later…


Oh, we’ve gone high tech at the LP Summit Lacrosse Tournament. There are tablets at the concessions stand. Trainers have lightning detector apps on their Smart phones. Each score table has a walkie-talkie. I’m receiving 12 final scores every 65 minutes on my iPhone. The tournament has an app that shows past games, future games, and everything in between. How did we ever do this before?


As competition director, I get the best of both worlds – I get to use a laptop and color Sharpies. I enjoy the pen and paper work, but the computer program certainly DOES make things easier.


Which introduces today’s theme – balance. Balance, people…


Why would a HS graduate WANT to play on a scholastic team? Why would his coach or his parents let him?


Why would a coach battle to add players from other teams to his roster as he enters the playoff push?


Why would a team pack up and leave the tournament after playing only four of its five games, leaving their opponent hung out to dry? These teams all pay a lot of money to play, and a selfish act like that affects the experiences of other teams as well.


Why would a dog owner argue when he learns he cannot bring his dog on to the field site? The sign says “No dogs allowed.” He says he drove four hours before learning he could not bring the dog to the tournament; maybe he did. But why assume his dog would be permitted? Would you take your dog to a hotel without first asking if pets were allowed? (well, maybe some people would)… I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: I looove dogs, especially our two dogs – but I would never dream of taking them to a lacrosse tournament. The two just don’t go together.


Same old answer. It’s a summer tournament. It’s supposed to be fun. As one of my colleagues joked, “If you want a championship T-shirt that badly, I’ll steal you one.”


Really folks, relax. Take a breath. Enjoy watching your kid play. Cheer for him and his teammates – but don’t be afraid to compliment an opponent or say something nice to the referees, too.


We’re all doing this for one reason. We love the game, we love our family members, and we love Lake Placid in August! With 252 teams, 13 fields, and 22 divisions, we have to have some rules, but more importantly, we all have to also have some patience, some kindness, and some respect for one another.


We were talking about this and so much more at dinner, when Kevin Leveille said something worth sharing. He said, “I’ve played in this tournament forever, and I’ve never won a championship! And you know what? It doesn’t matter! It’s not about the title; it’s about having a great time.”


That’s the same Kevin Leveille who played in a Final Four at UMass, played on the US National Team, and was the MLL’s leading scorer before retiring, the same Kevin Leveille whose dad was the co-founder of the LP Summit Lacrosse Tournament back in 1990. If he can accept life without an LP ring (or T-shirt), why can’t everyone else?


Enjoy your stay in God’s country, please. Good luck in each and every game. And for all the youth teams and families that will be finishing up and leaving after Day Three…


“See you next year!”


Please drive carefully, everyone!


- Dan Witmer