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Scholastic division highlights start of Summit Classic

By Press Republican , 08/03/16, 11:30AM EDT

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LAKE PLACID — The 27th annual Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic is well underway at the North Elba Athletics Fields, with the scholastic division completing its second day of competition on Tuesday.

A tournament that started in 1990 with only seven teams, the Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic has since grown to include more than 250 teams and comprise seven days of lacrosse action and festivities that pay homage to the continent’s oldest sport.

“We’ve worked to ensure that the Summit Classic has evolved into a family event,” Co-Founder and Tournament Advisor George Leveille said. “We’ve got grandfathers playing at the same time as their grandkids this week. That in itself makes this special and helps us honor the game of lacrosse.

 
 

“But it’s also about the experience and what you get here: the beautiful outdoors, the vibe in town, the great restaurants, what you can do off the field. This is about having an enjoyable week that includes lacrosse, as opposed to just going to a lacrosse event.”

Leveille and his staff pointed to improvements to the North Elba Athletic Fields as just one way the Summit Classic has been able to keep increasing the value of the experience.

“We’re always looking for ways to make things more convenient to everybody who is here, from guests to vendors to officials. We’ve made some important improvements to make this site nicer and more amenable, and that only helps enhance the experience and make it more of a family atmosphere.” 

The scholastic division of the tournament annually draws some of the most sought-after recruits and the most respected club teams from around the nation. Teams stocked with NCAA Division I-bound players competing for the right to play for the division championships, which will take place this afternoon.

MLL LEGENDS ALUMNI GAME

 This year’s Summit Classic will feature the first ever Major League Lacrosse Legends Alumni Game — a reunion of 40 of the best veterans to ever play the sport, many of whom have attended the Lake Placid tournament.

The contest is schedule for 6 p.m. Friday and is open to the public. Like many of the games at the Summit Classic tournament, it’s expected to draw a large crowd. The broadcast will later be available through Lax Sports Network.

 “We have worked for a long time to find a way to bring Major League Lacrosse to the Lake Placid Summit Classic, and we’re more than pleased to be able to bring this collection of world-class players back to the field this week,” said Kevin Leveille, the Co-Director of the Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic and a MLL veteran who retired in 2015 after 11 seasons.

“Over the years, there have been many conversations about teaming up with Major League Lacrosse. So seeing this come to fruition is really exciting. A lot of the guys who played professionally have stayed close over the years, and Lake Placid is one of the places they’ve connected, so it really couldn’t be a better setting.”

 
 

 Some of the players set to take the field include Gary Gait, Pat McCabe, Shawn Nadelen, Tim Goettlemann, Josh Sims, Regy Thorpe, Kevin and Mike Leveille and more. Two charities with lacrosse ties — the HEADstrong Foundation and the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund — will be the beneficiaries.

 GIRLS' BRACKETS GROW

The Summit Classic has seen the continued growth of the girls’ brackets in the scholastic division. Once made up entirely of boys’ teams, the youth and high school-aged girls teams now represent about half of 70-plus squads competing in the scholastic division.

“The size and scope of the girl’s tournament has increased tremendously in recent years, and 2016 marks our most competitive draw ever,” Co-Tournament Director and Chief of Staff Ashley Gersuk Murphy said.

Gersuk Murphy, who starred at Northwestern, pointed out that the tournament this year attracted about 10 teams of players already committed to play in college and are looking to develop chemistry before getting there.  “We’re really excited to see these teams of talented players coming to the Summit Classic to get to know one another and play together before they get to college,” Gersuk Murphy said. “And as the game grows, we’re grateful for the opportunity to showcase the sport at its highest scholastic level, and to give teams the opportunity to compete in such a special place.”