Originally published by The Sentinel by Zach Rimkus
Summer has arrived and with that people are excited to get to the beach go on vacation to other states or even go out of the country for some time. For some people, though, they have a different way of spending their off time in the summer: They go and play lacrosse.
Since Lacrosse’s regular season for all ages through college is in the spring, the beginning of the offseason for lacrosse is in the summer, when players begin to sharpen their skills.
Breakout Lacrosse, a Washington-based lacrosse training company, runs Stars and Stripes Lacrosse League. The league hosts different lacrosse clubs and teams from around the DMV area (Washington, Maryland and Virginia).
“This is the fourth season that the league has been around (spring 2012, summer 2012, spring 2013 and summer 2013)” Matt Breslin, CEO and cofounder of Breakout Lacrosse, wrote in an email. “The league is VERY competitive. The top division might be the most competitive in the country. A lot of players who play in the spring for the Stars and Stripes League are on current professional rosters. In both spring and summer, there are a number of former pro players playing as well.”
With 550 players, Stars and Stripes is the largest collegiate and post-collegiate league in the DMV area.
“In the spring we have 7 teams playing and in the summer we have 17 teams playing currently” Breslin said.
One of the clubs that participates in the league is the D.C. Lacrosse Club. For the past 11 years, the lacrosse club, which pulls players from the Washington area and Montgomery County, has been a go-to for collegiate and post-collegiate players.
The goal of the club is to give collegiate and post-collegiate athletes the opportunity to play either during the offseason in the summer for current college athletes or the ability to keep playing after college for post-collegiate players.
In 2001, Mark Oswell started the club as a team, the D.C. Patriots, and then expanded over the past several years to become the club it is today. The club started out with only 20 members but has grown to more than 130 active members and has had a total of 700 former members.
Martin Montorfano, the vice president and an original member of the DCLC, said, “Since its founding with one team- the DC Patriots in 2001 the D.C. Lacrosse Club has expanded to three men’s post collegiate teams that participate year-round in local leagues and tournaments along the East Coast, along with another two to three teams each summer made up of recent college varsity and club lacrosse players along with recent high school graduates that and that play just in the summer when they return home from school or before they go away.”
Now the club consists of seven teams: DC Lacrosse Club, Redline, MoCo, Roof Lax, Get Struck, Lightning Wear and DMV.
The club’s athletes have experience ranging from high school experience to playing in the pros and come from schools such as the University of Virginia, UMBC, the University of Maryland, Pfeiffer University, Ithaca College, Alderson-Broaddus University and more. Some players are just turning 18 when they enter the club to play, while others are tuning 40.
Stephen Robarge of the Denver Outlaws, one of the eight teams in Major League Lacrosse, is a former player from the DCLC.
“While the feeling of camaraderie and the fun that goes along with being part of a lacrosse team that was present at the beginning has remained the same, we know have the option to offer varying levels of skill and competition that offer the chance to play for players ranging from the ‘weekend warrior’ to high level college talent, who, in at least one instance have gone to become professional lacrosse players,” Montorfano said.
“When I first started playing lacrosse back in the 9th grade at McCleary Junior High School in Long Island, N.Y., in 1981, I don’t think I had any idea I’d be playing the game 32 years later,” he continued.
Under the leadership of Oswell and Montorfano, the DCLC has high expectations and requirements for the club to run and continue on in the future.
“After having been involved with the day to day running of teams in the club, as a vice president it’s nice to be able now focus on helping founder and Oswell with the bigger picture issues that a recreational sports organization faces: fundraising and sponsorship, sustainability, recruitment and growth, branding and visibility. I’m proud to be part of something that has provided literally hundreds of young- and in the cases of Mark and myself, not so young- men the opportunity to extend their lacrosse careers beyond the high school and college level” Montorfano said.
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