Summer 2022 Recap: Club & Travel
We toured the east coast for 13+ weeks this summer to take in the club season from a southern perspective covering 21 events in which our teams competed. This list will be subjective, even though we spent 13 weeks taking in the action, we can't possibly spend time with every club, with every team at every event. We do the best we can, see as many teams and players as possible and report on games we were at and players who did well while we were in attendance. For anyone who wants to see more photos from these events, please visit Larry Palumbo's 2022 Tournament page at:
Sunshine State Games Summer Kickoff
The local club portion starts out the same way in South Florida every May with the Sunshine State Games Summer Kickoff, this year held in Wellington and again hosted by our good friends at Sunshine Events Group. Bo has been opening the summer season for our players in Florida at this event for the last 15+ years and we were proud to see over 130 teams competing at the 2022 event. DSLR got to stick close to the Florida Elite and Brothers United programs who routinely send in multiple teams to compete in various divisions. Both programs have plenty of exciting players to watch so it kind of didn't matter what level you followed there was good lacrosse to be seen at any of their teams games. We also caught some very exciting games from the Creator's Game program and got some short looks on a few absolute studs with the '28 Manatee Wildcats that has us salivating for more. Can't wait to cross paths with them again sometime soon Coach Moyer!
Moving on to the Summer Challenge which was held in Parkland and showcased a bunch of Florida teams including the hosts, Stealth Lacrosse. Another old favorite of ours, Snipers Lacrosse fielded a bunch of teams on the youth/middle school levels.
No one does it quite like Tony Lowe, his kids have a total blast, they're a very inclusive bunch who help so many of the younger athletes not only develop their skillsets but also feel the joy and love this game exudes to those who fall deeply within it's grasp. This guy is a true AMBASSADOR of our amazing game. Getting the legendary Casey Powell involved with the Snipers only adds to the good vibes you get from observing Tony's program in action. DSLR needs to get themselves to Miller Park for a play-day with the Snipers this year to really get a sense for the magic that these guys work with their kids. At the High School level, Team 24 enjoyed a really nice outing at the Challenge which included their High School A team knocking off an extremely talented Stealth 2025 Legacy team before ultimately falling to True Empire in the championship game.
Orlando Summer Faceoff
Team 24 kept the momentum going by winning the HS B division at the Orlando Summer Faceoff. Host team LCO Black won the HS A division over High Tide, after first beating WLTW in a highly contested 4-3 semifinal game. Creator's Game won the 2024 division running away while PVAA Jaws took the 2025 division with a 1 goal victory over WLTW.
Vero Beach Blast
WLTW would finally end up winners in the HS A division of the Vero Beach Blast after a 5-4 victory over Florida Elite Carolina in the Championship. Ninja LC won the HS B division over a good Florida Elite Navy team. DSLR was also able to get some quality looks at the 26/27s that came down to Vero Beach with the ATL Kings. We loved having you visit Vero Beach and hope to see you back next year.
Palm Coast Father's Day Invitational
At the Palm Coast Father's Day Invitational we concentrated on the older divisions and we thought that FLX, FC Crush, Ninja, Florida Elite, Thunder, Bison and LCO all looked very good competing in multiple HS divisions. DSLR shared Coyote Magic with our good friends at Florida United Lacrosse so Palumbo had a nearly unbearable schedule at Palm Coast. The details are honestly a bit of a blur.....it happens at times when covering as many consecutive weekends as we are committed to providing during club season. So many games such little time!
Adrenaline Summer Invitational
DSLR would end the "local" club portion of our summer after the Father's Day Invitational and head up the east coast where much of late June and July was spent watching the travel teams compete against some of the better club teams in the country. Charleston Elite and For The Kids would kick it off for DSLR at the Adrenaline Summer Invitational in Delaware where the FTK teams came out with a pretty decent W/L record, they were led by their 2025 team who didn't suffer their first loss until dropping the championship game to Cali Gold. Definitely a nice run there fellas! Charleston Elite teams didn't fair as well as FTK record wise, but they did play in several competitive games that easily could've turned out differently with a bounce or 2 here or there.
NXT Mid-Summer Championships
NXT Mid-Summer Championships would be up next in Pennsylvania where DSLR got our first looks of the summer on the 2025 Florida Crabs team that seems to be destined to become another one of those really special southern teams. They stormed through the competition ending the tournament at 5-0 as champions having beat 3d Georgia, 3d New England South, Mint LC, L4 and Nationals LC. We also enjoyed catching the Nationals LC (some southern players) run in the 2024 division where they went 3-1-1 overall, losing by a goal 9-8 to 3d New England in the championship game.
The 2022 Florida Swashbucklers came up to Leesburg, Virginia to compete in the Nova Shootout and we couldn't resist a trip there to see these guys play together one last time. They did not disappoint with 3 strong performances on that Saturday. Andrew Bolger does such a tremendous job with his programs which truly is family. DSLR really enjoyed the chance to come back to Leesburg this summer for the Nova Shootout as It also provided looks at Red Devil United and Shred Thread while we were there.
The trip to Leesburg came at the expense of the Saturday at CrabFeast in Maryland so we made sure to really key in on the playoffs where we had the pleasure of enjoying a nice run by the 2023 ATL Thunder Blue team who beat VLC in the semifinals 9-7 before losing to the Baltimore Crabs 8-7 in the championship. The Florida Crabs 2025 Team Montes got themselves a victory over ADVNC in the quarters before losing to Express North Black in the semis and the 2025 Carolina Miners scored themselves a 6-5 victory over the Texas Nationals in consolation play on that Sunday while we were in attendance.
Naptown Challenge in Maryland would immediately follow CrabFeast and provided everyone with a huge collection of national teams to compete against. Such a large event forced us to concentrate on 2 divisions, we went with the 2023 and 2026 divisions and were rewarded with some incredible action. In the 2023 division the Annapolis Hawks were a perfect 7-0 winning the Championship 9-8 over Next Level Blue. Happy to see Raleigh, NC native and Hawks goalie Bryce Ledwith enjoy such a great run!
To show you how close the competition at Naptown is, True Florida lost 9-8 to Next Level Blue in the 2nd round of the playoffs after beating ADVNC NDP 10-6 in the first round while at the same time Team 91 South lost to the Annapolis Hawks (by a bit of a wider margin at 11-6) also in the 2nd round of the playoffs after they beat Team UNRL 9-6 in the first round. Neither True Florida nor Team 91 South could make it to the quarterfinals even though they were competitive against the eventual championship game participants 3 rounds earlier. Just some really incredible competition in the 2023 divisions as Sweetlax Navy pulled the #1 seed but lost to True IL Premier 8-6 in the quarterfinal. Thunder National would make the most significant run of any of the southern 2023 squads, but ultimately they lost 11-6 to eventual champion Annapolis Hawks in the semifinal. Enjoyed every moment DSLR got to cover.
Our 2026 southern teams didn't enjoy as much success as the 2023's with Stealth Black Ops falling to the Texas Mohicans 5-4 and Thunder National losing to Evolve Elite Ontario both in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Sweetlax Navy (some southern players) would run the table though, going a perfect 6-0 after beating the Annapolis Hawks 9-6 to take home the title. Way to go Navy!
Lacrosse World Series
Southern teams struggled a bit at this years Lacrosse World Series in Maryland but still a really tremendous experience for the U-13s who got to participate in the event. 3d Georgia 2027 was really the only team from our region that performed well going 4-2 starting off with 3 strong victories against Team 91 LI Rage, Evolve Elite and LI Express before a tough loss to 2Way in tournament play. Ranked #9 for the playoff round they beat #8 Sweetlax Upstate 10-9 in the first round of the playoffs but ultimately fell 8-7 to #1 Eclipse 2027 AA in the quarterfinals finishing with a 4-2 record overall. That was a really great run for the 2027 3d Georgia team!
Nike National All Star Games
We had some really mixed results at the Nike National All Star Games in Maryland where 6 southern teams competed, 4 of the teams had struggled during the 2 day event but the other 2 were dominant forces in their classes.
In the 2025 division, Team Florida beat Pennsylvania, Mid-America, New York and Pacific Northwest to go a perfect 4-0 during tournament play. The would go on to beat Maryland by a goal in the semifinal playoff and then they would beat DMV, also by 1 goal, in the final to win the championship going a perfect 6-0 overall. This team did it the right way, respecting the game and their opponents while playing good, hard lacrosse. They were led by HC Jonathan Montes whose communication and style were influential in helping each player succeed in their roles. Every player on this team is superb in their own rights, there is just no denying that, but there were some real standouts which included Kyan East who was very aggressive on defense causing turnovers and helping advance the ball in transition, and Ben Kupstas whose dodging from GLE helped create many scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. Luke Danna's naturally shooting ability was simply a joy to watch, if you're late to press his hands when he gets the ball he is going to make you pay. Pierce Montes is a general between the lines with a field sense you usually won't find in such a young player. Dylan Furshman's dominating presence on face-offs was on full display, and when he pulls it out clean he loves to run downhill and shoot; while goaltender Jackson Lynch was a strong presence in net, with his calm style he seemed in total control out there against some of the better shooters in the country. There was an aura around this team that dripped with excellence. The entire defense worked so well together with the attributes of playing a very aggressive style but always showing the proper restraint to keep the referees from blowing whistles, a clear sign these youngsters are smart enough between the lines to follow their coaches strategies and instruction. This really was an incredible run and truly special to witness. DSLR has been really excited about the 2025 class of players coming out of Florida all year so thank y'all for proving we had something to be excited about all along!
Team South also made an incredible run in the 2023 division beating Connecticut, Midwest, New Jersey and Pacific Northwest to also get out of tournament play at a perfect 4-0, then going on to beat Maryland by a goal in the semifinal playoff before ultimately losing in the championship game to DMV, ending the tournament as runner-ups with a 5-1 record. After playing a competitive half in the final, a short bench got the best of Team South and the game got away from them in the 3rd quarter. So many standouts, Hill Plunkett is a smooth operator and Alex Lobel can zing corners with the best of 'em, really impressed with their play this summer. Garrett Krsul has been very impressive getting the ball across in transition, he can stop on a dime and redirect in any direction like a jackrabbit, causing stress on the defense to stop ball at all times, he will shoot or dart a pass to an open Attackman if the defense doesn't keep their head on a swivel. Anderson Moore and Brayden Williams, the righty/lefty combo in cage, are battle tested after years in the ATL Thunder program and are always ready to perform at a high level, the defense in front of them played so well, it was very difficult to find an open cutter or get an open look on a pick play against this group. Certainly no need to hang their heads, this team can ball with the best in the country and certainly proved that in Maryland this summer.
NXT Philly Summer Invitational
NXT Philly Summer Invitational in Pennsylvania always showcases a bunch of southern teams, and since DSLR only had 1 day on site we first concentrated on the 2023 True NC, 2023 Team 91 Georgia and 2023 NC Fusion Triad Elite teams since coverage has been limited on them recently. We also paid a lot of attention to the 2024 class the rest of the time covering mostly True Florida, but we really dedicated ourselves to another old favorite, the 2024 Carolina Miners who enjoyed quite the run beating FCA Upstate, Grizzly, UNRL Texas and Team MN in tournament play, then beating host NXT in the semifinal 7-6 before ultimately suffering their first loss to Freedom 8-7 in the championship finishing as runner-up at 5-1. Most times DSLR has caught the 2024 Miner team they have done nothing but shine playing some of the better teams in the nation, nothing different at this event. So well coached and a bunch of stars on this roster.
Long Island Summer Showdown
The Long Island Summer Showdown in New York featured high level competition for the '23-'25 classes and saw True National bring their green and black teams while Sweetlax brought their Black 2023 team, their Florida 2024 team and their Upstate 2025 team. Of the teams we followed Sweetlax Florida 2024's made the most noise going 3-1 with wins over the New Hampshire Tomahawks, Rebels and Legacy Launch while suffering their only loss to Shore 2 Shore.
NLF National Championships
It truly was impressive to see so many southern teams competing at the NLF National Championships in Pennsylvania and we enjoyed watching a few teams make some noise. Our friends in Atlanta with the Thunder had a really nice outing including their 2023 & 2024 Orange teams going 3-2 overall in the A divisions, but it was their 2023 Blue team stealing the show and having a nice run in the AA division. In tournament play they went a perfect 3-0 beating NE Twisters 11-6, Sweetlax Florida 9-8 and Resolute Black 9-7 to earn a spot in the playoff round. They would get knocked out in the quarterfinal though, losing to a really good Baltimore Crabs team by the score of 6-5. Thunder Blue would finish strong with a 12-6 victory over Leading Edge Elite in the consolation game to go 4-1 overall in the tournament. Team 91 South went on a similar run in the 2028 A division going 3-0 in tournament play before losing to Leading Edge Elite in the quarterfinal, they finished the tournament 4-1 overall as well. Feel good story of the tournament goes to the Florida Crabs 2024 West/Ross team that competed in the A division. They avenged some difficult times this summer to close out strong taking their group in tournament play to qualify for the playoffs where they beat Team 91 Tri-State Select 7-5 in the semifinals before losing to Laxachusetts Yellow 11-4 in the final. Job well done boys, way to believe in each other during times of adversity.
Team of the tourney was no doubt the 2026 Florida Crabs who beat Albany Power and Top Gun Littleneck, but lost to LI Express in tournament play, even with that loss they would narrowly win their bracket. Led by a group of ferocious long poles the Crabs went on to beat Eclipse Orange 6-3 in the semifinal playoff before avenging their only loss in shutting out LI Express 5-0 in the final to take home the A division championship. Nice work boys! This is definitely a fun team to watch and we can't wait for our next chance to see them compete.
Also of note, class of 2025 Goaltender Zach Rosenberg played with Team 91 Maryland Fire where he got to see some action in relief. Fire is a top 10 team in the country and spent a good deal of time at #1 during the 2021 calendar year. What a great opportunity for Zach and we are hoping he gets his next chance to play with them this fall.
Pinnacle Summer Championships
Another great showing of southern teams at the Pinnacle Summer Championships in Maryland where True Florida came oh so close in the 2023AA division but lost 8-7 to Ward Melville Patriot Elite in the semifinal ending a valiant attempt to win their division. They would go 4-1 overall with wins over Wasatch LC, 6Star Sixers, True Blue and DC Express Black. NC Fusion also enjoyed a nice outing in the 2023AA division beating UNRL Texas, Rock National and NJLC before losing to Edge and BBL Black giving them a 3-2 record overall. True Florida also saw success in other divisions include 2025 A where they went 3-1 in tournament play before beating True Premier 5-4 in the semifinal but they ultimately fell to Orange Crush Buffalo 8-7 in the final, finishing with a 4-2 record overall. Carolina Miners Yellow enjoyed a nice run in the 2025AA division going 3-0 in tournament play to win their group but lost to BBL Black in the playoffs and finished 4-1 overall. True National Black had strong outings in the 2027 & 2028 divisions with each team earning trips to the championship game but neither team was able to win their last game and they both ended up 5-1 and runner-ups.
Stealth 2026 Black Ops were the only southern team in the AA bracket but they would represent the region well going on an incredible run after narrowly winning their group during tournament play. In the playoff rounds Black Ops would beat Average Joe's and True National Green to earn a trip to the championship game where DC Express Black would take them to overtime but Campbell Hogan buried the game winner on a feed from Scooter Barrett to give the Stealth the tournament championship. Black Ops had struggled through a couple of rocky outings earlier this summer, so winning another big championship was very redeeming for a group who already has won plenty of hardware. Very happy for you boys!
UA All-American Games
Team South struggled in the Highlight Division of the UA All-American Games finishing 1-4 after winning their consolation game against Team CONNY, but South did much better in the Command Division where they enjoyed a 3-2 record beating Long Island, New Jersey and New England while losing to Washington D.C. and Midwest.
Lake Placid Summit Classic
Powell Lacrosse and Nations Best had plenty southern players on their rosters giving us enough to follow, but it was most certainly Coach Z's Prodigeez (2023 Thunder Blue) that stole the show for DSLR simply by competing at the Lake Placid Summit Classic, a place that shares so much love for Syracuse legend, John Zulberti. Overall Z's Prodigeez went 3-3 on the tournament but it was the 2 half games they shared with Rebels LC National and Team 91 Long Island Bandits that really stole the show, just some fun backyard lacrosse, no winners, no losers, no pressure, and a fantastic way to end the event. What a fun time watching kids be kids, getting runs all over the field and enjoying what Upstate Lacrosse has to offer. The smiles were WIDE!
Inside Lacrosse Elite Eight
DSLR was very excited to see two 2024 teams make it into this year's Inside Lacrosse Elite Eight with the Carolina Miners earning the 6 seed and Team 91 South making the cut as the 7 seed. 91 South struggled, going 0-3 overall after losing a heartbreaker in overtime 7-6, despite a hat trick from Mason Bader in their final game against Brotherly Love. Rough outcome but still a very good test playing against the absolute best in our nation.
Carolina Miners made a real statement at Elite Eight with 3 very impressive games. Things got off to a very rocky start in their opening game against the Baltimore Crabs especially after Defenseman Brian Powell buried a buzzer beater sending the Miners into the half down 6-2. Goaltender Conor Nelson was up to the challenge though and made many key saves that would backbone a furious 2nd half comeback that saw Carolina eventually tie it up at 9 when Attackman Braedon Chayes scored with 2:40 left in the game. Miner's Midfielder Cole Frood would give them a 10-9 lead less then a minute later, but the Crabs would tie it again at 10 with just over a minute left. The Miners won the ensuing face-off but just couldn't convert and eventually lost 11-10 in overtime. Oh so close, just not enough, but a lot of players showed a ton of heart in this game. The Miners would follow up this performance with a commanding 10-4 victory over Team 91 South before Brevin Wilson's hat trick helped them finish strong beating the Annapolis Hawks 8-7 earning them a 5th place finish. Outstanding effort up and down the lineup, DSLR applauds the effort to go 2-1 against the best in our nation. Well done Miners!
Teams Who Made the Most Noise in front of DSLR this summer:
2022 Florida Swashbucklers
2023 Thunder Blue
2023 Sweetlax Florida
2024 Carolina Miners
2025 Florida Crabs
2026 Sweetlax Navy (partial southern team)
2026 Florida Crabs
2026 Stealth Black Ops
Great summer boys! Can't wait for fall ball starting up in a few short weeks!
For anyone who wants to see more photos from these events:
Recap written by Larry Palumbo, released on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 @ 08:00 EST
Photos courtesy of www.CoyoteMagicActionShots.com
Photo Credits: Larry Palumbo & Mike Watters
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