Black and Blue Tournament helps lacrosse players learn and grow
It wasn't looking good on Friday morning with wet fields and about 90 teams coming to Woodbury to participate in the Black and Blue lacrosse tournament during this past weekend.
Luckily, the fields dried up fast with the hot weather and the rain and storms stayed away for the weekend tournament allowing the teams to play competitively for three straight days.
This was the ninth year the Black and Blue tournament was put on in Woodbury and, once again, it was a success with teams learning more skills as a lacrosse player and parents supporting each player with their development.
"I remember playing in this tournament when I was in the youth programs," said Nick Walsh, a coach for the 12A U Woodbury United boys team. "It's fun to come back and be a part of this tournament as a coach now."
This weekend gives lacrosse players, both boys and girls, an opportunity to play with a range of ages. This tournament hosts ages from 8-14 years old and the majority of the them have a similar goal, to make it on the high school varsity team.
"It would be cool to make it on varsity for high school," said Caden McManus, a 12A U Woodbury United player. "I've grown up watching high school players play and I want to do it someday."
McManus, along with a teammate, Quinn Olson, have been using this weekend to watch older players compete and learning from them. They've been able to work on different moves to help build their skills as lacrosse players by just watching a simple game.
Whether it's playing for fun or trying to make a varsity team someday, Walsh is happy with the amount of growth this sport has seen over the past three or four years. When it first started in 2013, it was a sport that people didn't know and didn't want to try because they were comfortable with other sports they played.
Now, there's 90 teams competing against each other over a weekend and all of them are supporting each other.
It was another successful weekend of lacrosse, according to the committee team of the Black and Blue Tournament. The handful of members look forward to seeing how the tournament can continue to build in the future for the city of Woodbury as well as for the game of lacrosse.
"This is a really fun tournament and I've learned a lot," Olson said. "I'm just hoping that this tournament keeps coming each year because I want to play in it each year."