Midwest Tournament MSLCA
Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports, and the Midwest is a hot bed of talent. That talent will be showcased for many college coaches attending the games, looking for their next lacrosse recruit. There will be 18 teams from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania competing in the tournament: Archbishop Moeller, Birmingham Seaholm, Brother Rice, Carmel, Culver, Detroit Country Day, Dublin Jerome, Franklin Regional, Mt. Lebanon, Sewickley Academy, Shady Side Academy, St. Ignatius, St. Xavier, Thomas Worthington, University of Detroit Jesuit, Upper Arlington, Western Reserve Academy, Worthington Kilbourne. This is an opportunity not to be missed-great lacrosse played by great teams.
A Brief History of the Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association
The Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association was formed in the early 1970’s by coaches from Michigan, Ohio and western Pennsylvania seeking to formalize a scheduling process and gain recognition for their fledgling lacrosse programs. Gene Reilly of Detroit Country Day School, Dick Jones from Western Reserve Academy, John Galipault, Sr. of Worthington, along with representatives from Lake Ridge Academy, Shady Side Academy and L’Anse Creuse Lacrosse Club were instrumental in the organization of the association.
The history of the tournament is a bit muddled by the fact that the 1972 champion is listed as L’Anse Creuse, but there was no tournament or league schedule including all teams at that time. By 1973, the scheduling process was settled and the lst tournament was held at WRA, with WRA winning the finals over Worthington in a driving rainstorm that rendered the field a mud pit. In 1974 the tournament was hosted byWorthingtonwith early round games also played inUpper Arlington. This second annual tournament could easily have been the last since lightning struck the field where the official Paul Caldwell had just suspended play between Shady Side and Worthington because of the weather. All players, coaches, and spectators were knocked to the ground, but fortunately there was only one serious injury---a Shady Side player broke his arm. There were, however, dozens of people with a new found respect for the danger of lightning, and an article in Sports Illustrated as well as a sticker with a protocol in case of thunderstorms in 1975 when the lacrosse rule book took note of the incident. In that fateful game, all the players were using wooden sticks with the exception of Worthington’s three defensemen on the field, none of whom were standing with their sticks perpendicular to the ground. For the next decade or so, the tournament was rotated among the three states in an effort to promote the sport throughout the Midwest. By this time, Sewickley, Cranbrook, and Upper Arlington had joined the association and took their turns in hosting the year end event.
In 1985, Western Reserve Academy started hosting the tournament since its location was the most central to all teams involved. By this time, the tournament had gone to a Friday and Saturday schedule with two brackets. Skip Flanagan, WRA’s headmaster, provided an outstanding facility for the tournament for 27 years. Starting in 1994, the girls Midwest Association also held their tournament at WRA during the same weekend as the boys, but with their games being played on Saturday and Sunday. With the addition of numerous new teams to the league, the format was expanded to three divisions in 1988 and four brackets in 1995.
The fact that Michigan (122 high school and 17 club teams), Ohio (102 high school and 24 club teams) and Western Pennsylvania (39 teams) all have their own state associations because of the phenomenal growth of the sport, is evidence that the founders of the MSLCA were truly visionaries who made great things happen for the sport of lacrosse in the Midwest.
Pam H Galipault, April 2013
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