Some of USBOXLA's most successful and longest standing clubs competed in Vegas, including Denver Elite (Photo: David Becker)
Whatever happens in Vegas, well, will end up on USBOXLA.com in coming days, weeks and months, because the inaugural USBOXLA Western Invitational was a smashing success.
The youth tournament, which the US Box Lacrosse Association hosted alongside the National Lacrosse League’s San Diego Seals, saw teams across three divisions – pee wee, bantam and midget – from both the United States and Canada compete for gold at two separate venues in Last Vegas, Nevada.
In addition to the tournament, the weekend also witnessed the first-ever Team USBOXLA West Tryouts, which was attended by over 150 of the best box lacrosse talent from the region.
The 350 players competing in the Western Invitational also attended the historic game between the Seals and Colorado Mammoth at Orleans Arena, which had a reported attendance of nearly 5,000 fans for the first NLL game ever held in Sin City. San Diego won the contest, 17-10.
“I can’t thank the Seals and all those who attended the Western Invitational enough,” said USBOXLA President and Co-Founder, Shaydon Santos. “It was just a fantastic weekend of box lacrosse!
“From the Team USBOXLA West Tryouts on Friday night, to an extremely competitive and skilled tournament, and then of course the Seals and Mammoth game right in the middle of it all, well, it was the ultimate box lacrosse weekend!”
NLL legend Colin Doyle was one of a dozen current or former pro players coaching at the USBOXLA Western Invitational (Photo: David Becker)
The tournament featured some of USBOXLA’s most successful and longest standing clubs, plus a pair of British Columbia-based organizations. Teams included: Arizona Outlaws (Phoenix, Arizona) Cali*Lax ALL-STARS (San Jose, California), Denver Elite (Denver, Colorado), Minnesota Stars (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Pro Caliber Lacrosse (British Columbia), TCG Lacrosse (North Vancouver, British Columbia), and TRUE Lacrosse KS (Kansas City, Kansas).
Current and former NLL players filled the coaching staff for most of the teams, including the likes of: Colin Doyle, Dallas Eliuk, Curtis Dickson, Christian Del Bianco, Tyler Pace, Ben Prepchuk, Jamie Shewchuk, Aime Caines, Gary Rosyski, and others.
“USBOXLA was built by a group of retired NLL players that wanted to see this sport succeed in the US after so many years of being an afterthought,” said Santos, who founded USBOXLA with current University of Denver Associate Head Coach and former NLL player, Matt Brown. “While our member clubs consist of directors and coaches from all different types of lacrosse backgrounds, so many of them are also led by pro players like we saw this past weekend.
“The relationship we have with the NLL and so many of its players is part of what makes attending events like this so special. Our youth members learn and compete against the same pro players they grow up idolizing. These pros have helped create a unique environment you won’t find anywhere else in the country.”
A total of 42 games were played by 18 individual teams across those previously mentioned three divisions. USBOXLA Western Invitational medal winners included:
Gold: Arizona Outlaws/PCL (split squad)
Silver: Denver Elite
Bronze: Cali*Lax ALL-STARS
Gold: Denver Elite
Silver: Arizona Outlaws
Bronze: Cali*Lax ALL-STARS
Gold: Cali*Lax ALL-STARS
Bronze: Denver Elite
Click or tap here to see the tournament’s full standings, schedule and scores.
Plus, watch out for a ton of coming-soon content captured in Vegas right here on USBOXLA.com and all of our social channels. Click or tap to make sure you’re following us on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
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The US Box Lacrosse Association (USBOXLA) is the country’s largest and most recognized box-specific governing body operating today. USBOXLA is a 501(c)3 charitable corporation whose mission is to develop and promote box lacrosse in the United States through a unified organization that provides high-value services, programs, and benefits to its members. Founded in 2010 by current University of Denver Associate Head Coach, Matt Brown, and former National Lacrosse League player, Shaydon Santos, USBOXLA has grown from a small regional association to one that presently serves over 25,000 individual members all over the US, all playing box lacrosse the right way.