From players in their early teens to grizzled athletes donning uniforms and knee braces in the tournament’s oldest division — the Super Grand Masters — the North Country was well represented in the Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Tournament, which wrapped up its 22nd summer in the Adirondacks on Sunday, Aug. 7.
The youngest area residents were the first to play in the seven-day tournament, competing on Tri-Lakes teams in the under-18 and under 15-divisions early in the week. Several older locals were up next in mid-week matchups in the Grand Masters and Super Grand Master divisions.
Then, on Friday, a group of Saranac Lakers joined some talented players from Central New York to debut a new team, Dacks Lax, while Alex McFaddin of Lake Placid played for the IAS Alum Lady Cats in the Women’s Open Division.
In addition to Dacks Lax and the Tri-Lakes scholastic teams, area residents were playing on at least five more teams in the tournament. During the spring, Saranac Lake’s Tim Burpoe can be found on the sidelines rooting on the Red Storm lacrosse squad, which was anchored by his son Mike in the nets this year. But last week, Burpoe was on the field playing in the Grand Masters Division with Bull’s Head Market. On Thursday, his team was playing another opponent with local ties, the Dutch Masters, featuring Lake Placid’s Bill Larzelere and Chris Grant.
“I play because I’m trying to deny I’m getting old,” said Burpoe, who has been playing in the Summit for eight years. “Really, I love the game, and I love this tournament. It’s getting bigger and bigger all the time. We have two Tri-Lakes teams, and we have more kids playing the open collegiate divisions than ever before.”
“Everybody else is coming from hundreds of miles away to play,” Burpoe added. “I come from 12 miles away. It’s great playing at home.”
“I just have to roll out of bed and I’m here,” Grant said. “It’s like a reunion. Each year, a bunch of us come together as a team. We go out there and just have a fun time.”
Two other Lake Placid players, Lee Quaintence and Kelly Locke, were members of the Dutchmen, a squad in the Grand Masters Division.
Larzelere, who established the Tri-Lakes Youth Lacrosse program, was part of a father-daughter combination playing in the tournament. His daughter Juliette, finished her first year at Union College in May and competed in Lake Placid with the IAS Lady Catamounts.
“Of course you want to go out and be competitive, but this tournament is all about fun,” Juliette said. “At night, the girls all go out, and during the day we play lacrosse.
“Last year was my first time in the tournament, but I didn’t play much. I was sick all summer,” Juliette added. “So far, I got off to a pretty good start, although we didn’t win. We scored two goals, and I got an assist on one of them, and I didn’t drop one ball. I’m having fun. Hopefully, we’ll do better in our next game.”
Morgan Ryan/Lake Placid News
Lake Placid’s Alex McFaddin, left, shares a laugh with her IAS Alum Lady Cats teammate during a game against Smokey Joe’s Quakers on Friday, Aug. 5. The Lady Cats finished with a 1-2 record.