Mayflower Invitational’s First Weekend Draws More Than 50 College Coaches, Nearly 50 Teams To Kick Off the Fall
MARLBOROUGH and TAUNTON, Mass. — The Mayflower Invitational, hosted by Boston-based 3d New England, drew more than 50 college coaches in its first of two weekends of lacrosse, including an individual showcase followed by a play day featuring nearly fifty teams.
Now in its fourth year, the Mayflower Invitational first weekend draws high school-age players and teams from up and down the East Coast. Kicking off with an individual showcase on Nov. 4, more than 140 players took the field Saturday morning for a day that included a 90-minute training session followed by four hours of games.
“We started the Mayflower Invitational just a few years back with only a handful of teams and coaches and it’s exploded pretty quickly,” said Matt Rowley, Director of 3d New England and 3d Lacrosse’s National Club Director.
“We had head coaches, assistants and recruiting coordinators from some of the most respected programs, including ACC and Ivy League schools. One of the ways we’ve been able to build this is through so many strong relationships throughout New England, but now we’re seeing teams coming from as far as Ontario and Maryland to compete at Mayflower.
After the individual showcase games wrapped up Saturday at the ForeKicks facility in Marlborough, members of 3d New England and the Top Gun Fighting Clams gathered for the annual Committed Game, a showcase that features more than 50-future college players from the two programs.
“This year was a little different for us as it carried a greater meaning,” said Rowley, who is the Head Coach of the varsity boy’s program at the Noble & Greenough School.
A ceremony was held on the turf before the Committed Game to honor the late McCrae Williams, a former standout goaltender at Noble & Greenough who tragically passed away in September.
Williams, an alumnus of the Top Gun Fighting Guns, was a freshman at Lafayette College at the time of his death. The Committed Game was played in his honor and a fundraising effort throughout the day was led by his former teammates.
Williams’ father, Chris, and his mother, Dianne, joined the two teams on the turf prior to the game, as a letter penned by former Lafayette coach Jim Rogalski, who recruited McCrae, was read to the players.
“To be able to play a highly competitive game against a respected opponent in memory of a beloved former player speaks to the larger meaning of what this game is, and has always been, about,” said Justin Walker, the President of the Top Gun Fighting Clams.
Walker coached Williams for six years through the Clams program. Members of the Committed Game squad adorned specially designed uniforms that paid tribute to Williams with the iconic “MW3” logo that can be seen on helmets throughout New England and on social media accounts far and wide.
Coaches from both the Clams and 3d New England addressed the players during an emotional build up to what was an intense and fast-paced matchup on the field, which the Clams won 12-7.
“I am so glad so many people got to be a part of such a remarkable afternoon of lacrosse,” Walker said. “I know McCrae was proud.”
On Sunday, the action shifted to the ForeKicks facility in Taunton, where nearly 50 teams turned out for games that ran for 12 hours as sidelines were jammed with college coaches from the Division I, II and III ranks.
Teams of players in the 2020, 2021 and 2022 graduating classes took the field for the first half of the day, giving way to games for the upperclassmen later in the afternoon and into the evening.
Clem D’Orazio, the Head Coach and Director of the lacrosse program at Everest Academy just outside of Toronto, said he was pleased to bring two teams to the invitational for a competitive weekend of lacrosse. With sidelines packed to watch some of the Canadian players on the field, the Everest Academy teams were among the most popular for the college coaches at the event.
“It was amazing to witness the skill level the Mayflower Invitational brought to both the individual showcase and the team event,” said D’Orazio, who also serves as the General Manager of the Toronto Beaches Junior A box lacrosse program.
“All of our players that attended the individual showcase enjoyed the drills and the coaching they were provided. The team showcase was some of the best competition we’ve seen at a fall showcase. The organizers did a great job at lining up the games.”
Kevin Mayer, the Executive Director of Rock Lacrosse in Maryland, said his program had been contemplating a trip to New England, as many of his players are interested in universities and colleges from the region.
He said he was referred to the Mayflower Invitational by other coaches as an event that delivered on competition and exposure.
“It was very well run, all turf fields, hence we did not have to worry about long travel and rainouts,” Mayer said.
“The competition was at the level we like and the college coach attendance was very good. All the event staff was very accommodating and our team had an exceptional experience. We look forward to coming back.”
The Mayflower Invitational’s second weekend features the youth portion of the event. Teams of players in the fourth through eighth grades will take the field at the ForeKicks in Taunton on Nov. 11.
To learn more about the Mayflower Invitational and other regional events, visit https://3dlacrosse.com/tournaments/regional-tournaments.
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, Buffalo, Dallas, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Rochester, San Diego, San Francisco and Westfield, N.J. Learn more at 3dLacrosse.com.
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