McLEAN, Va., December 12, 2014 – USA TODAY Sports Media Group President Dave Morgan announced today that USA TODAY Sports has entered into a partnership agreement with 3d Lacrosse, one of the leading training and event-staging organizations in the sport, to launch an annual championship showcase that for the first time ever will annually pit the best boys and girls youth and high school lacrosse players from 16 states against each other to determine a national champion in each of four age groups.
The USA TODAY Sports Great State Showdown, to be held the first weekend in August, 2015 on Lehigh University’s Goodman Campus in Bethlehem, PA, will be preceded by tryout and skill development camps in each of the 16 markets during May and June. The camps will feature the top coaches in the country training and evaluating boys lacrosse players from the eighth grade through eleventh grade, and girls players from ninth through eleventh grade.
The best players in each grade will be selected to represent their state in August at the Great State Showdown.
As part of the partnership, 3d Lacrosse will also work with USA TODAY High School Sports to provide its weekly Super 25 rankings of the top boys and girls high school programs in the country, as well as provide support in the selection of its American Family Insurance ALL-USA teams for both boys and girls.
“This is a great opportunity for us to get more deeply ingrained in our coverage of the fastest-growing youth sport in the country—by partnering with the leading lacrosse management organization in the nation,” said Morgan. “The Great State Showdown is a concept that is long overdue to become a reality, and in addition to crowning champions, we think it provides a tremendous showcase for scholastic players looking to eventually play at the collegiate level.”
“We are pleased to be working with USA TODAY Sports to launch what we collectively believe will be one of the most meaningful and largest lacrosse events in the history of the sport,” said Greg Waldbaum, 3d Lacrosse President & COO. “State by state competition, by class, for both boys and girls is a void in the marketplace. 3d Lacrosse is committed to training players and hosting world class events, and we could not think of a better product than The Great State Showdown or more appropriate partner than USA Today Sports.”
The inaugural 16 markets participating in the Great State Showdown are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Long Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Colorado, California, Illinois, Oregon / Washington, Ohio, Texas and Upstate New York. The intent in the future is to add markets and younger classes as appropriate.
3d Lacrosse will use its management expertise to run the program, maximizing its extensive network of coaches and scouts to effectively identify, select and train the athletes in each age group. For more information, visit 3d Lacrosse.