The Allstate Sugar Bowl will sponsor a full day of lacrosse at Pan Am Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 25. The Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Lacrosse Classic will feature a pair of college lacrosse games: LSU and Ole Miss meet at 3:30 p.m. and Arizona State and Texas will clash at 6 p.m. In addition, there will be two high school lacrosse games to open the day with Brother Martin playing Caddo Magnet at 9 a.m. and Loyola Prep and Baton Rouge Catholic in action at noon. Admission to the full day of lacrosse action is $10.
“The Sugar Bowl is very proud of its involvement with the growth of lacrosse in New Orleans,” said Paul Hoolahan, Allstate Sugar Bowl Chief Executive Officer. “With the speed that the sport is growing, we are very pleased to now have two separate events giving opportunities to athletes as young as 10 years old all the way through college. This event is also a great chance for fans throughout the region to experience a new and exciting sport.”
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has sponsored lacrosse action for the last six years, including last month’s sixth annual Allstate Sugar Bowl High School Lacrosse Classic, which featured a record 40 teams in action at Lafreniere Park.
In addition to the high school lacrosse action, the Sugar Bowl added a collegiate game last year. In that inaugural event, Texas defeated Florida State, 12-11. The Longhorns return for this year’s collegiate event, taking on Arizona State, which is ranked No. 2 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse MCLA Coaches Poll. Texas is ranked No. 13. In addition, LSU and Ole Miss will take the field to show off their skills in the fast-growing sport.
The action continues on Sunday morning with a two-hour shooting clinic (for boys 18 and under) conducted by Chris Malone and Team Quick Stick at Pan Am Stadium beginning at 9 a.m. The current Arizona State head coach and a two-time All-America midfielder at Maryland, Malone will teach the art of shooting and talk about what it takes to be a Division I lacrosse player. He will be assisted by Team Quick Stick, a summer all-star/travel team made up of the top players from around the state. The clinic will cost $50 and interested participants can sign up by visiting www.teamquickstick.com.
Following the Sunday clinic at Pan Am Stadium, there will be four more lacrosse games as St. Paul’s and Brother Martin will battle at both the U15 (11:15 a.m.) and junior varsity levels (12:30 p.m.) and Jesuit and Dutchtown will meet on the pitch at the varsity (2 p.m.) and junior varsity levels (4 p.m.). Admission to the Sunday games is $5.
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.