NEW ORLEANS – Klein High School, from outside Houston, defeated Spain Park High, from outside Birmingham, 11-4, to capture the sixth annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Lacrosse Classic title on Sunday afternoon at Lafreniere Park. After winning the championship in the first four years of the event, Klein was eliminated in the quarterfinals last year, but the Bearcats came back strong in 2012 to retake their crown.
This year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic featured a record 39 teams at five boys’ levels: varsity, junior varsity, U15, U13 and U11. Eighty-three games were played over the two-day event with several thousand fans in attendance. St. Paul’s High School and Rummel High each captured junior varsity titles at the tournament.
The Sugar Bowl keeps rolling in the lacrosse field with a collegiate lacrosse doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Pan Am Stadium. LSU will play Ole Miss at 3:30 p.m. followed by Arizona State and Texas at 6 p.m.
In Sunday’s finale, the two teams traded goals early and were deadlocked at three before Klein closed the half with three unanswered scores. In the second half, the teams again traded goals to make it 7-4, but the Bearcats tallied four straight goals to close the scoring. Tyler Reed and Bryce Miller each scored three for the Klein, while the tournament’s offensive MVP, Dylan Reeves, added two. Kevin Estell from Klein was named the defensive MVP. The Jaguars were led by a pair of goals from Justin Kane.
The inaugural Allstate Sugar Bowl lacrosse event in 2007 had eight teams participating. Since that time, the Classic has grown to its current capacity. 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 high-speed game is also a fan favorite, drawing crowds of as many as 50,000 for NCAA Final Four games.
After Klein captured the first four titles in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Lacrosse Classic, the 2011 event saw St. Thomas More, from Lafayette, La., post a 9-3 victory over Jesuit of New Orleans for the championship – the game was a rematch of the 2010 Louisiana High School Lacrosse Championship match. The Blue Jays, from Jesuit, had earlier foiled Klein’s quest for a fifth straight title with a 4-3 victory in the quarterfinals.
New Orleans-area schools that participated in this year’s event included Archbishop Rummel High School, Brother Martin High School, Jesuit High School, Mandeville High School and St. Paul’s High School.
For more information about the Allstate Sugar Bowl and its many community events, please log on to its website www.allstatesugarbowl.org.