LAKE PLACID — For most of the year, the Olympic village of Lake Placid is far from a hub for boys lacrosse.
The small high school doesn’t have a boys team and games can be hard to come by.
But that all changes for one week every summer when the Summit Lacrosse Tournament takes place at the North Elba athletic fields.
This week, there are about 140 teams in town for the tournament that attracts 5,000 to 6,000 people, according to its organizer George Leveille. Of those teams, about 100 fall into the adult divisions and 40 are scholastic. There are teams for both sexes.
“This is the only section in the state that doesn’t have lacrosse, so half these kids don’t even play lacrosse. For us to get them out and to compete, it’s a fun time,” said Tom Goodnough, coach of the Tri-Lakes under-15 team.
This year, the tournament is in its 21st year and is continuing to evolve from the tiny seven-team tournament that it was in 1990. A big reason for that is the addition last year of the scholastic divisions for youth. That brought an additional 17 teams to the fields and now that number has roughly doubled.
“It’s great, especially for up here because we don’t have too much lacrosse,” Lake Placid resident Tyler Grant said. ”It brings a lot of attention and gets kids interested in lacrosse.”
Grant had just finished a game at one of the six fields where games were taking place simultaneously. His team won 11-9 over a squad from Broome County. The win was especially gratifying because of the top-notch competition.
“These are all real high-caliber select teams and we’re just local guys,” Goodnough said.
The high level of competition extends to the adult divisions. Last year in the masters division, the Syracuse alumni team of Burnt Orange featured 10 former All-American players, and they weren’t even the best team. Burnt Orange lost in the championship game to Rusty Red, a team with a core that consists of Cornell University alumni.
“Last year, they were here and played two phenomenal games, which were the most widely attended games we’ve ever had,” Leveille said.
Leveille said the master’s division, for guys over 32, is the most competitive division. That’s because those who are eligible for the open division aren’t playing because they are on pro teams. But once they retire from the league, they come back and play.
“We started to get teams coming with multiple teams and a lot of college alumni,” Leveille said. “This year, Georgetown is bringing an alumni team. UMass is bringing an alumni team. ... So we’re starting to develop a real niche with college alumni program, which is great.”
For those interested in watching some of the action, the masters division starts playing games on Thursday, Aug. 5. Semifinal games begin Saturday, Aug. 7 and the championship games are Sunday, Aug. 8.
There are signs along state Route 73 pointing to the fields where the games are being played.
More information is available on the Internet at www.lakeplacidlax.com.
Mike Lynch/Lake Placid News
Tri-Lakes defender Dennis Goodnough brings the ball upfield during Tuesday’s under-15 game against a team from Broome County.