The weather gods looked kindly upon us on Sunday, January 13th, making up for the fact that the terrible air from the tragic fires in Paradise California forced us to reschedule from the original November date. The second annual Silicon Valley Shootout saw clear skies and 50 teams and over 350 players join us for a full day of great lacrosse, fun, and community building, all in support of a great cause. This was our first attempt at what we’ll call ‘Outside the Box’ short field lacrosse. Teams played on 3 or 6 person teams on smaller fields on the turf, and played a game similar to box lacrosse for the older age groups. The younger teams played a version of ‘half court lacrosse’ – with teams of three competing to score on a single goal.
Palo Alto High School was hopping with players, friends, and family members. We were fortunate to enjoy the fruits of the fabulous new $20M Perry Family Athletic Complex, which was just recently completed, and nicely ties together all the wonderful athletic fields which have been built over the years on campus.
The U12 Boys began the day at 8AM on the lacrosse field – with 10 U12 teams competing in A and B divisions. The Big Dawgs won the U12A Division handily, overcoming Eclipse in the final. The B Division proved extremely competitive, with the Seawolves Blue and White teams, Shaba and BigBadBots fighting it out to the delight of their many vocal fans. The BigBadBots prevailed in the end with a narrow win over Shaba 12-10 to claim the title in the Championship game.
On the Football field, converted to short field lacrosse for the afternoon, 8 U14 girls team fought fiercely on all fronts. The early favorites The Hook and The Point both emerged 3-0 in Pool play, and met in the finals, after prevailing in the semifinals against the second place teams in the Pool: Rampage and Lunastix. In a very tight championship game, The Hook prevailed 8-7 over The Point. All teammates and good friends during the regular NorCal season, and although The Hook and The Point players enjoyed the high-level competition, they agreed they rather play together on the same team.
At noon, the Lacrosse Field converted to the U14 Boys bracket and saw 6 teams fight it out under the guidance of referees George Bonebright and Taylor Morgan. Late entrants The Scrubs pulled away with the title, prevailing over early favorites GOAT! and GrandTheftLax with great teamwork. Over on the Football field the Girls U12 Division and the Boys U10 Division put on a fun to watch display. The Boys U10 Master Blaster team was clearly the winner, and walked away 4-0 and the title. The Girls U12 Division put serious points on the Board in every game. The X.23 Wolverines and The Incredibles came away undefeated in Pool play, with the exception of a 17-17 (!) tie against other. In the Finals, they traded goals throughout the game, the X.23 Wolverines squeaking away with an 11-10 sudden death overtime win for the title. An amazing note about the four X.23 Wolverines players: for two of the players, this was their very first real game! Shout out to Kate and Elena!
The evening brought with it the High School teams. 9 Boys and 6 Girls teams watched the sun set and the moon rise, and the intensity level was turned up yet another notch. Pain Train and the Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies were the winners of their respective Boys Division Pools. In the semifinal, Team Lettuce prevailed over Pain Train, which set up a rematch with the Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies, who had beaten them by a single goal in Pool Play. In a game with an intensity level only possible due to the fact that all the combatants were good personal friends, the lead went back and forth. Finally two late goals by players normally equipped with long sticks led the Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies to win the title and bragging rights for eternity.
The Girls HS division brought a lot of good fun under the lights. Two teams from Salinas added to four local teams to bring top-notch competition to the Silicon Valley. The competition was so tight that 50% of the pool games ended in ties, and five more games were decided by only 1 goal. With such equally-balanced teams, the tournament could have gone to anyone. Thunder, however, fought tooth and nail to come away with the 1-goal victory in the championship game versus Lightning.
After 13 hours and 107 lacrosse games spread across two fields, everyone went home dry, tired, and generally very happy. Due to the small rosters, everyone played the majority of every game, and since the rosters were so small, every player proved crucial to the success of each team. Lots of players scored more goals in a single day then they might for an entire season! We think the ‘Outside the Box’ approach proved highly successful as a way to help people improve their skills and also have fun. We’ll without a doubt do more of these kind of tournaments! Stay tuned!