06/19/2018 9:30 AM
MyLacrosseTournaments.com hosted the 10th annual Long Island Lax Fest, featuring 310 boys' and girls' teams from all over Long Island and the rest of New York, as well as teams from Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Click here and here to see photos from the event. Click here to see scores. Follow MLT on Twitter and Instagram.
It all depends on how you want to get there, but if driving's your game, it'll take about 12 hours to head from Grand Rapids (Mich.) to Farmingdale State College, home of the Long Island Lax Fest.
Some might be turned off a bit by the prospect of spending a full day in a car just for travel purposes. For Kyle Osipoff's True Michigan club's players and parents, though, it's a major opportunity to experience something unique.
"Michigan is a few years behind the East Coast in terms of lacrosse talent, so we try to go to tournaments where we're going to be able to test ourselves," Osipoff said. "There are athletes and some big boys out here, but we're missing the finesse aspect, and that's why we try to play the best. We tell our parents that we're going to come out here and play against the best talent in the country, and maybe we'll go .500, but it's going to be some great competition."
In its 10th year, the Long Island Lax Fest continued to cement its reputation as one of the biggest events not just in Long Island, but the entire country. There's always a strong local representation, even in a 310-team tournament like this year's, but the tournament's appeal has stretched to beyond the Island and into other parts of the country.
"I think that's how we separate ourselves," Osipoff said. "We'll take our best guys to the best tournaments. We build lacrosse players and get them into college. Our parents haven't had any complaints or negative feedback. They know we're not going to go 5-0 in this tournament and easily win every game. The atmosphere is great. You can your shirts and food, hang out with family and friends, and it's a Grade A lacrosse tournament."
The Seven Hills program, based out of Central Massachusetts, didn't have to go quite as far as True Michigan did. At the same time, it finds itself in a similar situation with regard to its surrounding talent level. It's a developing region, not quite consistently up to the same level as Western and Eastern Massachusetts, so traveling a little bit to find top competition is a must.
"We want to get our players closer to the hotbed areas," Seven Hills director Rich Luongo said. "A coach in our area said that the Long Island Lax Fest was a good place to get our kids in front of a lot of coaches, and we play against well-coached, well-run teams. It's good for our guys to play against that. We got to play against a couple of Long Island teams and a team (LI Urban) with a ton of African-American kids, who were really good. It's phenomenal to have that diversity in the lacrosse world. You don't see that a lot if you don't go into these big tournaments."
Event founder Sean Chamberlain, who doubles as the Farmingdale State head coach, has overseen the event's growth into one of the summer's biggest and best tournaments. While a robust Long Island presence will always be vital to the Lax Fest's success, it is exciting to see its popularity draw teams from outside of the area in an effort to diversify the field.
"It's unbelievable to have teams come from so far just to be a part of the Long Island Lax Fest," Chamberlain said. "We're flattered that teams choose to make the tournament a big part of their summer, and it's great to be able to showcase not only the top talent on Long Island, but also the entire country."
2018 Long Island Lax Fest Champions
Varsity: Team 91 New Jersey 2019/20
JV: Long Island Empire Nassau 2021 Green
2023: Long Island Empire Nassau Green
2025: Team 91 Orange Fury
2026: Metro Pizies
Varsity A: Long Island Express 2019 Schreiber
Varsity B: Syosset
JV: Team 91 NJ South
2020 A: Team 91 Carolina Cannons
2020 B: HGR Blue
2021 A: Team 91 Ambush
2021 B: GC 34
2022 A: Team 91 Smash
2022 B: GC 34
2023 A North: Team 91 Bandits
2023 A South: Long Island Empire Green
2023 B: GC 34
2024 A: Team 91 Wolfpack
2024 B: Team 91 Tristate Select
2025 A North: Team 91
2025 A South: CSH Roar
2025 B: Garden City Rams
2026 A: Long Island Express Haugen
2026 B: Moose Lax
2027/28: Team 91 White