Allstate Sugar Bowl Lacrosse Series Caps Strong Weekend park
The third annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Lacrosse Series completed a successful weekend of action on Sunday at Pan American Stadium in New Orleans City Park. Over 3,000 fans attended the three-day Series, which was expanded greatly to include 11 collegiate programs as well as eight Louisiana high school programs.
The inaugural event in 2011 featured two squads and last year, the classic had four collegiate teams as well as high school competition. This year’s collegiate teams were: Alabama, Auburn, Centenary, Florida State, LSU, UL-Lafayette, Millsaps, Ole Miss, Texas, Texas A&M and Tennessee. In addition to the collegiate teams, eight high school teams will also take part in the event: Brother Martin (New Orleans), Caddo Magnet (Shreveport, La.), Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.), Dutchtown (Geismar, La.), Jesuit (New Orleans), Rummel (Metairie, La.), St. Paul’s School (Covington, La.) and St. Thomas More (Lafayette, La.).
The final match of the Series was one of the most exciting as St. Paul’s School upended Jesuit in overtime in a rematch of last year’s state championship match. The Saturday evening match saw Texas, ranked No. 22 in the Inside Lacrosse/Nike club lacrosse poll, defeat No. 18 Florida State, 14-3. Saturday also featured the first NCAA lacrosse contest in the state of Louisiana as Millsaps topped Centenary, 16-2 – the Gents are in their first year of NCAA Division III play.
Friday, February 15
Texas A&M def. UL-Lafayette, 10-8 (MVP – Will McKeever, Texas A&M midfield, four goals)
Texas def. LSU, 10-3 (MVP – Jordan Lee, Texas goalie, 12 saves)
Florida State def. Tennessee, 14-7 (MVP – Will Glover, Florida State midfield, four goals)
Saturday, February 16
Brother Martin (HS) def. Catholic (HS), 9-7 (MVP – Cody O’Cain, Brother Martin goalie, 13 saves)
Tennessee def. Texas A&M, 12-9 (MVP – Barry Hillyer, Tennessee, five goals)
Millsaps def. Centenary (NCAA Division III), 16-2 (Co-MVPs – Scott Budd & Hunter Stevison, Millsaps, five goals each)
Auburn def. UL-Lafayette, 17-4 (MVP – Joe Cusimano, Auburn attack, nine goals)
Alabama def. LSU, 14-4 (MVP – Craig Landru, Alabama FOGO, 13-of-17 on face-offs)
Texas def. Florida State, 14-3 (MVP – Spencer Price, Texas attack, seven goals)
Sunday, February 17
Dutchtown (HS) def. Caddo Magnet (HS), 12-11 (MVP – Sammy Latino, Dutchtown goalie, 15 saves)
Auburn def. LSU, 12-4 (MVP – Judson Koss, Auburn goalie, 14 saves)
Ole Miss def. Texas A&M, 16-0 (MVP – Nick Loverde, Ole Miss goalie, shut-out)
St. Thomas More (HS) def. Rummel (HS), 10-5 (MVP – Luke Robideaux, St. Thomas More midfield, three goals)
St. Paul’s School (HS) def. Jesuit (HS), 5-4 OT (MVP – Christian Voelkel attack, scored the game-winner in OT)
In the 2012 collegiate classic, Ole Miss edged LSU, 12-11, in overtime, in the first game, while Texas topped Arizona State, 4-3, in the marquee match-up. In the inaugural collegiate event in 2011, Texas defeated Florida State, 12-11.
The inaugural Allstate Sugar Bowl high school lacrosse event in 2007 had eight teams participating. Since that time, the Classic has grown to a capacity slate of over 40 teams. Recognized as one of the fastest growing team sports in the United States, lacrosse has seen youth participation grow over 500 percent since 1999 to nearly 250,000. No sport has grown faster at the high school level over the last 10 years and there are now an estimated 200,000 high school players. The sport is also growing fast in Louisiana, which had seven high school teams in 2008 and has grown to 19 teams scheduled to compete in 2012. The high-speed game is also a fan favorite, drawing crowds of as many as 50,000 for NCAA Final Four games.
The dominant team in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Lacrosse Classic’s brief history has been Klein High School from Houston, which captured the first four titles. After losing the title in 2011 to St. Thomas More, from Lafayette, La., the Klein dynasty returned to form with a championship victory over Spain Park High from outside Birmingham, Ala.