3d Houston Hosts First Texas Middle School Lacrosse Championship; Highland Park Takes Crown
HOUSTON — 3d Houston hosted the first ever Texas Middle School Lacrosse Championships this weekend as part of a busy weekend of lacrosse in the Lone Star State.
Highland Park out of Dallas saw its Division I 7th/8th-grade team crowned victors of the three-team tournament that also featured representation by Memorial Knights (Houston) and Westlake (Austin).
“This was an exciting opportunity for these teams and players to get out onto the field and go head-to-head in a competitive setting and really test themselves against their peer programs that take this sport seriously,” said 3d Texas Director Dalton Jernigan.
“With no official championship at the middle school level here in Texas, and having worked with many of the youth and high school programs in Dallas and Houston, 3d and the Memorial Knight’s program thought it would be great to get some of them together for a tournament-style day of fun. We were pleased to get some interest from a few schools with respected programs.”
Jernigan said other programs throughout Texas have reached out since hearing about the event, hoping to get involved for the future.
“We really didn’t know if many teams and coaches would be able to make it happen. But after getting a lot of feedback, we’re fired up for next year and to see how many more teams we can add to grow the bracket and create more opportunities for young kids to play and have fun. It also helps keep enriching the culture of the game here in Texas, which is really growing in places like Dallas, Austin and now Houston too.”
Hosted at the Spring Branch Independent School District’s Reggie Grobb Stadium, the tournament was held on the same weekend as and just down the road from the Texas High School Lacrosse League’s championships, which are a growing attraction for fans of the sport in the Lone Star State.
Highland Park, a powerhouse program out of Dallas with numerous high school state titles to its name, won the round-robin style championship using a balance of fast-paced offense and stingy defense.
“The 7/8th grade Texas state championship was an awesome event on many levels,” said Richard Moses, one of the coaches for the Highland Park squad.
“The championship showed the commitment to the growth of the game in Texas. It was also fantastic to expose rising high school players to the excitement of playing for your team in a state championship-style setting with a trophy on the line. Many thanks to the host program Memorial Knights, Coach Jernigan and Coach Harren for organizing a great event.”
The second engagement in as many days, 3d Houston on Sunday hosted the two Sevens All-Star Games for the Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association’s youth league.
Two 3rd/4th-grade teams and two 5th/6th-grade teams – one coached by Jernigan, one coached by 3d Houston Senior Manager Chris Harren – put their fledgling skills on display at Darryl Tully Stadium in Houston.
3d Houston worked closely with the SBMSA this spring. 3d coaches put on a coaches’ clinic early in the year. To begin the season, the SBMSA held a combine where 3d coaches were on staff to train and evaluate players before the league draft.
“This was a really big weekend for lacrosse, especially here in Houston where it’s really still on the cusp of taking off,” said Harren, who played lacrosse at Kingwood High School in Houston before playing Division I lacrosse at Marist College in Downstate New York.
“You look at the quantity of players in the SBMSA, and then the quality of the play of those little guys whipping the ball around during the All-Star Games, and you see it’s really developing.”
“If we can continue to help provide support and create opportunities like this in lacrosse, it’s a victory for everyone,” Harren said. “3d Houston and 3d Lacrosse in general are looking forward to another year of working with the SBMSA and all the hard-working coaches striving to teach the game at the youth level.”
For more information on 3d Texas, 3d Houston and 3d Dallas, visit 3dLacrosse.com and select “Find Your Market” under the training tab.
About 3d Lacrosse
3d Lacrosse is the nation’s fastest-growing lacrosse services company, offering innovative training, premier events, select travel teams, showcases and leagues for boys and girls ages six through 18 at all levels of organized competition. Founded in 2009, the Company trains more than 35,000 athletes annually using its proprietary Box-Field Hybrid™ Development System that combines the tight stick-handling and ball control of box lacrosse with the team-based field strategies used in Division I college programs. In addition to lacrosse-specific training, professional coaches help players develop lifelong skills, including dedication, teamwork and critical thinking under pressure. Based in Denver, 3d Lacrosse also has offices in Annapolis, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Rochester, San Diego and San Francisco. Learn more at 3dLacrosse.com.
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