Santa Cruz, CA – The Cali*Lax ALL-STARS, America’s first youth Box Lacrosse program, sent 7 teams to compete at Calgary’s Canada Day Tournament . The California Box teams were comprised of the following age groups and skill levels – Novice (01/02) B division, Pee Wee (99/00) A and B division, Bantam (98/97) A and B division, Midget (96/95) A and B division.
The Pee Wee A (U12) Cali*Lax ALL-STARS opened the tournament facing off against the historical New Westminster Salmonbellies A1 team, a program with over 100 years of Box Lacrosse history and one of the top youth programs on the west coast. “They beat us 12-4 but we played along side those guys and have every right to hold our heads up high” says Mark Blake Assistant coach of the Pee Wee A team whose son Graham (’00) caught the Box bug when the Stealth were in San Jose.
“Outside of the actual game it was a great feeling to see our jerseys along side the Salmonbellies’ . It couldn’t be better if we were playing the Red Wings or the Yankees ” extends Blake who routinely travels to Queens Park New Westminster to watch the Mann Cup, the Senior ‘A’ Canadian Championship.
The Cali*Lax ALL-STARS played along side Denver Elite (directed by Matt Brown, DU/Mammoth), the only other USA based club, who sent 4 teams to the Canada Day tournament. Next year the Jr Stealth (directed by Lewis Ratcliff, NLL Leading goal scorer) has been allowed to enter 3 teams in this sold out with wait list tournament.
“We didn’t win the tourney in any age group but there’s no better way to push the program forward than by playing the top teams” says Cali*Lax ALL-STARS director Shaydon Santos. His teams have now competed against the top eastern based programs Whitby 1 Bantam A (U14), and now the west’s.