22 BOYS FROM SOUTH FLORIDA QUALIFY FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Fort Lauderdale, FL – Casey Powell’s World Lacrosse Foundation U13 team qualified for the World Series of Youth Lacrosse to be held in Denver, CO July 2-4. The talented team made up of 22 boys from Delray Beach to Naples travelled to Charlotte, NC to successfully qualify this past weekend. They beat teams from Virginia, North Carolina and Florida to make the championship game before losing to the region’s top seed Team Carolina 8-5.
“The team arrived in Charlotte as a top player in South Florida and left as one of the top teams in all of the Southeastern United States,” said Casey Powell, Co-Founder of CPWLF. “We enjoyed watching the boys play and interacting with them off the field. We are very proud of the players, parents, and coaches display of sportsmanship. The conduct of the team is a reflection of the foundation and we really appreciate the way all represented. In addition, a very special thanks to our outstanding coaching staff.”
The team is coached by Pine Crest Head Coach and Florida Launch Assistant George Harris. Brendan Gleason from St. Andrews coaches the defense. Mark Geddis and Bo Lamon also serve on the staff.
About the Warrior World Series of Youth Lacrosse
The Warrior World Series of Youth Lacrosse presented by The Coca-Cola Company crowned Team 91 Crush from Long Island, NY as its inaugural World Champion on July 4, 2015 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.
The Championship Game was broadcast live on ESPN2. Warrior WorldSeries of Youth Lacrosse Founder Jake Steinfeld, along with Founding Partners Steve Bornstein, Dave Morrow and Ray Schulmeyer, have created the ultimate experience for the youth lacrosse player.
More information on the Warrior World Series of Youth Lacrosse presented by The Coca-Cola Company can be found at www.worldseriesofyouthlacrosse.com
John Michael Night is a pillar of strength at Trinity Prep High School in Winter Park, Florida.
The Under Armor All American committed to play Division I lacrosse at Mercer University in Georgia. He is a handsome, over achieving, Varsity MVP type of 17-year-old leader with a work ethic that precedes him and a nickname “The Flow” to respect his thick head of wavy brown hair. That is why his sudden unpredictable rare circumstances with “Locked-In Syndrome,” the direct result of a stroke on December 14th 2015, has been such a blow to his close knit family and friends and really the whole community which is spreading further everyday. By January 5th John Michael was transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia which specializes in spinal cord injuries and brain trauma. The Night family demonstrating that same family work ethic of positivity and a “can do it” attitude fueled by love.
Casey Powell was contacted through friends of the Night family. Casey had just been elected Captain of the USA Lacrosse Team who would scrimmage University of Denver on January 10th at the IMG Academy in Bradenton FL. As Team Captain, Casey was honored with the task of leading his team on to the field carrying the American flag. With the stars and stripes in one hand, his team of elite lacrosse players behind him, and a signature lacrosse dedication “JMN” on his chin guard, Casey Powell took the field with a purpose. Casey put his ability where his heart is and dedicated that game to fellow lacrosse player John Michael Night in this time of need. With his mind on JMN’s recovery Casey notched 2 goals and 3 assists in the game and drew an untold amount of positive attention to JMN’s condition.
Casey wanted to dedicate his effort in person so on January 20th he and World Lacrosse Foundation Executive Director Heather Chase O’Neil visited John Michael Night at the Shepherd Center. They wanted him to know that the WLF stands behind John and his family, and encourages the lacrosse community to join the mission as well.
Donations to help create experiences for these players in their time of need can be made here at The Casey Powell World Lacrosse Foundation.
Luca Annunziata is bouncing back from a serious head injury which occurred on November 28th, 2015. The 11 year old with a vigor for life and focused determination fell while roller blading with friends and family.
He underwent emergency surgery which was followed by a medically induced coma. Luckily, Luca is part of a massive loving family that immediately rushed to his side to provide nurturing support. His parents John and Darcy then were supported by the community with prayers and well wishes and the results were almost immediate. Two months later Luca’s condition dramatically improved as he is back on his feet, undergoing regular physical therapy.
He embodies the type of young athlete the Casey Powell World Lacrosse Foundation wants to support. Casey Powell and WLF Executive Director Heather Chase O’Neill visited Luca at Tampa General Hospital on January 29th his “going home day” to celebrate and see what else could be done to help Luca’s situation.
Luca was elated with the visit. He was walking around the hospital that day and it was a spirit lifting event for the family, hospital caretakers, as well as us to see him in markedly improved condition and spirits. He even performed the “Nay Nay.” CPWLF will be helping support lacrosse players like Luca by drawing awareness to his cause. Donations to CPWLF will help provide experiences like this and support to lacrosse families in need. The World Lacrosse Foundation stands behind Luca and his family and encourages the entire lacrosse community to support him.
The Casey Powell World Lacrosse Foundation’s Student Sticks program got lacrosse sticks in the hands of several PE classes in an elementary school on the West coast of Florida on January 12, 2006.
Lacrosse sessions were led by World Lacrosse Ambassador Casey Powell.
Special Thanks to Jason Morales!
Speed Lacrosse had me at the tagline “anyone, anytime, anywhere.” I knew Casey Powell was up to something.
One Saturday in October 2015 Casey came to our town to teach us the game on an early stop of his North American Tour. I listened intently to his instructional speech and I finally understood www.SpeedLacrosse.com. The experience benefitted our youth organization on so many levels that it brought me immediately closer to the game.
Our barrier island youth players battled it out on a pair of 20 yard by 40 yard fields with 3’6” X 3’6” nets (which are that size for a reason) for 2 straight hours and I saw them doing things they’d never done before. At the onset they understood a 3 on 3 game of lacrosse required a different strategy and that’s when I finally understood the method to Speed Lacrosse madness. It happens to be twofold.
As an instructional game, Speed boils Lacrosse down to its most simple form. You have to cover a full court with 3 players so you have to get the ball out of your zone and get it up field. That’s difficult to defend so the scores are high – but that’s part of the fun. Youth players can attend practices for days without scoring so this gets everyone in on the offense. And defense.
Surgical defenders can pick your pocket if you hang your stick. If the contact is flagrant – Speed Lacrosse calls for you to police yourselves and call a foul. When the ball goes out of bounds – the ethos is for honesty to rule the court as to who it went out on. Speed Lacrosse is all about keeping the game moving and getting up and down the field so the conditioning is rigorous.
Our youth players as young as 10 years old almost instinctively cut to an open area without the ball to get open. Because of the small field they payed close attention to the side line and end lines. They kept a tight score and quickly embraced the competitive spirit of this revolutionary game in its infancy. It’s safe to say Speed Lacrosse brought true intensity out of players that otherwise wouldn’t have shown it.
What would you expect? This game is beach volleyball with sticks. Its pickup hoops at the school yard. Suddenly I felt like I was in the Powell home in Carthage N.Y. circa the mid 90’s in one of those “Texas Death Match” backyard tournaments you have with your mates.
Teams waiting to play stayed involved and cheered on their friends because Speed Lacrosse doesn’t only change the size of the playing field – it levels it. The game tilts the advantage toward the quicker thinking gazelle and disarms the axe-wielding slasher. A refreshing excitement ensues.
As a youth lacrosse training tool, Speed Lacrosse gets all the physical obstacles out of the way. A mouthpiece, cage and gloves occupy a big portion of the youth players mind while he’s on the field. That equipment takes years to get used to. When you take the helmet and cage off a youth players head and give them their field of vision back that player is free to think about more important things like how to get open or when to get back in the hole to stop a fast break. You can feel the immediate ramp in their lacrosse I.Q., or at least you can figure out how to make that leap happen.
Down to shirts, shorts, training shoes (unless you’re playing it on the beach) and lacrosse sticks there is no fear of getting pulverized by a heat seeking Cascade helmet. There’s no intimidating six foot carbon shaft being thrown around the cage. This is a finesse game. Experts want to model their Speed game after Scottie Pippen’s basketball game and that lends itself to the second method to Speed Lacrosse madness.
Like any other game – Speed Lacrosse is going to need contribution from some legendary players for its growth. There’s no one better to steward that ship than Casey Powell, the games founder. I think elite players will embrace this new form of lacrosse the same way our youth league did because it inspires on court creativity at a high pace.
First, try to imagine attending a 3 on 3 Speed Lacrosse Tournament on turf under the lights that includes a set of fine-tuned Major League Lacrosse All Stars… and then get your popcorn out because once Speed takes hold that will be something to see.
At the beginner level, at the elite level and at every level in between – there is a spot on Casey Powell’s Speed Lacrosse Court for anyone who wants to improve their lacrosse skills, their lacrosse I.Q. or grow the game into the spotlight it deserves.
We were very excited for our trip out to the West Coast and have the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. This was the first time to California with our foundation and we wanted to make a positive impact. We tried to squeeze as much into the 4 days to maximize the trip.
We landed in Los Angeles and had been talking with our friend Mike Levin who runs City Lacrosse. Mike is a former pro teammate of mine and one of my first calls when I was starting our foundation. He was extremely helpful and supportive of our ideas and I really wanted to get out and help support his foundation. So once we dropped the bags off at the hotel we headed over to help Mike with a City Lacrosse clinic in Compton. We ran some drills, did a shooting demonstration, showed them some tricks and even introduced them to SPEED lacrosse. Mike has done a great job using lacrosse to help better the lives of hundreds of kids and we vow to continue to support his efforts in the future. Keep up the great work Mike and City lacrosse!
Early the next morning I was invited to Loyola High School for a before school practice. It brought back memories of when I used to practice before school. Conditions were perfect and I ran the boys through some high intensity drills. Loyola is one of the top schools in California and its always fun working with talented players. The coaches were very welcoming and it turned out to be an awesome time. Thanks for having me Loyola and good luck this season.
After heading back to the hotel we walked around the Santa Monica Pier and took in some sights. That night we went to my friend Scott Hochstadt’s Socktail party in Manhattan Beach. Scott is a great friend and former teammate for the Anaheim Storm. He has done a lot for the growth of the sport in California and we made it a point to head out and see him. He is currently running a sock company called Legend’s with former NBA baller Steve Nash. Great catching up with Scott and I even managed to score about 8 pairs of free socks. He scores……
The next day I hooked up with pro goalie Adam Ghittleman who just became the head coach of USC. We ran a full day of camp and had a blast. It was great getting to know Adam on a personal level. I expect him to do great things in California. MLL phenom Tom Schrieber was in the house as well. They don’t make em any better than Tom and Adam. Great couple days of USC camp for sure.
We held a CPWLF Social at Hennesey’s in Manhattan Beach. It was open to lacrosse players and families. We ended up with a great crew and some really supportive people attended the get together. We started doing foundation Social’s as a way to bring the lacrosse community together and embrace our special bond and of course tell stories about the good ole days. Jeremy Sieverts, Mike Levin, Zac Greer, Sean Lindsay, Adam Ghittleman were just some of the star power that attended. It was a very special night and we auctioned of some cool prizes and some supported graciously donated to our foundation. Thanks to all for being there with special thanks to Rob Mancini and Dan Mohler for your help. Great guys!