34TH ANNUAL LAKE PLACID SUMMIT CLASSIC DRAWS THOUSANDS TO THE ADIRONDACK PARK, NORTH ELBA AS CHAMPIONS CROWNED ACROSS MORE THAN 20 DIVISIONS
NORTH ELBA, NY — More than 20 championship teams were crowned last week at the 34th annual Lake Placid Summit Classic held in the Adirondack Mountains’ storied Olympic Region.
Thousands of lacrosse players and their families made their way to Lake Placid for the scholastic portion of the wildly popular tournament, which kicked off Monday July 31 and culminated on August 6 with the event’s final round of adult title matchups.
Nation’s Best, a national club program drawing scholastic players from New England, Colorado, Georgia and other areas, took home two championships while finishing as runner-up in a third in the first half of the week.
Just as the scholastic-age squads — ranging from U14 to high school juniors and seniors — were wrapping up play, the adult divisions got underway Wednesday afternoon, bringing players as old as 80+ to the fields for the Grand Masters (45+), Super Grand Masters (50+), Ultra Grand Masters (55+) and Past Masters (60+) divisions.
“Even with some challenging weather, this turned out to be one of the best years we’ve had up here in these mountains,” said George Leveille, who co-founded the event back in 1990 as a getaway for a tight-knit pack of lacrosse-playing, fun-loving friends from the Capital Region and other parts of New York State.
More than three decades later, the tournament has grown to represent one of the most important weeks for the sport of lacrosse, as many of the game’s best players and most respected coaches have made their way to the North Elba Athletic Fields at some point in their careers.
Restaurants and hotels were packed from morning to night as one of the area’s most impactful events again transformed Lake Placid into a lacrosse utopia for seven consecutive days, with the glorious Adirondack Mountains — including many of the famous 46 High Peaks — providing a breathtaking backdrop for teams and families enjoying time in the park.
“Lake Placid is a special place and it has more allure than ever before because of the attractions, natural beauty and the history,” Leveille said. “Our lacrosse community absolutely loves it here and this place has become sacred to so many players, coaches and even the family members who’ve been coming here with them, some for more than 30 years now.”
Though Thursday saw epic thunderstorms roll through the Adirondack Park and disrupt plans for the annual Summit Classic 70+ contest, five new members of the Lax Placid family were honored later in the evening as Legends of Lake Placid Lacrosse.
Friends and family gathered at the Lake Placid Horse Show Grounds for the nighttime celebration that paid thanks to five individuals who’ve helped grow the Summit Classic community over the years.
This year’s honorees included Haudenosaunee legend Dave White (Travis Solomon award); Summit Classic co-founder Mike DeRossi (Tom Pillsworth award); longtime coach, player and industry member Brian Silcott (Grow The Game award); Tri-City lacrosse leader Bob Dicks (Paul Rose award) and veteran lacrosse official Mike Infantino (Larry Piatelli award).
Longtime event attendee and former Division I coach Dom Starsia offered opening words along with a heartwarming introduction for his beloved friend Dave White, and lacrosse historian and stick connoisseur Jim Calder shared moving sentiments on the late, great Onondagan stick maker Alf Jacques, who passed onward in June.
After the Legends ceremony, Summit leaders rolled away the podium backdrop to reveal a stage filled with instruments. In a first, Leveille introduced attendees to the project known as Summit Sounds — a collaborative of musicians who’ve been involved with Lake Placid Lacrosse over the years.
Led by singer-songwriter/guitarist Brad Hester, electric guitarist Michael Lashomb and drummer Joshua West of the band Annie In The Water, the Summit Sounds outfit included Leveille himself on mandolin along with DeRossi on acoustic guitar, longtime event attendee Toby Farrington on bass and Summit Senior Events Director Blake Schierer on another electric guitar.
Hester, a Virginia native, founded Annie In The Water after playing lacrosse at Hobart College. Playing an assortment of Annie In The Water originals and classic rock hits, the group was joined by Syracuse University and pro lacrosse legend Mike Powell, who since his playing days has become a successful recording and touring musician. Powell sat in with the Summit Sounds crew for an impassioned take on Bryan Adams’ “Run To You” in a rare treat for those on hand.
Mother Nature stayed involved Friday, but numerous champions across the eldest Summit Classic divisions were still crowned before Saturday and Sunday gave way to picturesque weather, with onlookers packing the sidelines for the intense rounds of matchups to close out the highly competitive men’s and women’s open divisions.
The Lake Placid Summit Classic represented the final stop on the 2023 Find Your Summit Tour, a collection of Summit’s premiere summertime events in destination locations and well-known stops for lacrosse families.
The lead sponsor of the Find Your Summit Tour for the second consecutive year, Albany-based Gait Lacrosse was on hand all week at the North Elba Athletic Fields to provide a look at the game’s most thoughtfully crafted, technologically advanced sticks and protective equipment built on unmatched experience and understanding of the sport.
HEYDUDE Shoes, a new brand to hop on this year’s Find Your Summit Tour, provided a certificate for a free pair of cozy kicks to the designated “most valuable player” on each championship team, presented individually in what has become an animated and entertaining presentation following every finale.
“We had an incredible summer working with awesome partners and we want to keep building for the future,” said Kevin Leveille, George Leveille’s son and Brand and Event Director for Summit Lacrosse Ventures.
Other brands joining the Find Your Summit Tour in 2023 included Smith Optics, Impact Canopy, STX Lacrosse, Yeti and Motive Pure.
“We try to make Placid better each year and working with these outstanding brands was key this summer,” said Kevin Leveille, a four-time All-American at UMass who went on to star at the pro and international levels.
Below is a recap of the divisional champions at the 2023 Lake Placid Summit Classic, with the victors presented by Gait Lacrosse, along with each division’s HEYDUDE Shoes MVP:
Men’s 65+: Cloudsplitter LC (MVP: Rodney Rullman)
Men’s 60+: Garber’s Gorillas (MVP: Paul Weller)
Men’s 55+: Team Harley and Patriot 55+ (co-champions)
Men’s 50+: Sailin’ Shoe and Gray Devils (co-champions)
Men’s 45+ Gold: Big Red Steelheads (MVP: Todd Ulrich)
Men’s 45+ Silver: Pathways Within (MVP: Brian Tower)
Men’s 40+: “15 For Life” / Burnt Orange (MVP: Jason Gebhardt)
Men’s 35+: Black & Blue Jays (MVP: Mike Bocklet)
Women’s 35+: LuvLax (MVP: Tricia Manley)
Men’s 30+: HLX (MVP: Ben Smith)
Men’s 25+: Cranx (MVP: Jake Reynolds)
Women’s 25+: Graph-Tex (MVP: Alie Jimerson and Morgan Basler)
Men’s Open Gold: Piatelli Lacrosse (MVP: Teagan Alexander)
Men’s Open Silver: Cold Brook LC (MVP: Nick Farrell and Logan Callahan)
Women’s Open Gold: New Jersey Clams (MVP: Chase Boyle)
Women’s Open Silver: Team 315 (MVP: Amy Hoeffner)
Boys 2024-2025 Summit: Team Attack Cancer (MVP: Spencer Ford)
Boys 2024-2025 Gold: Nation’s Best 2025 (MVP: Anthony Rodriguez)
Boys 2024-2025 Silver: Sailin’ Shoe (MVP: Jack Herenden)
Boys 2026-2027 Gold: LI Express 2026 Channy (MVP: James Gillis)
Boys 2026-2027 Silver: Nation’s Best 2027 (MVP: Danny Kinnard)
Girls Nike NorthStar: Little Hoos (MVP: Elizabeth Gonnella)
Girls 2024-2026 Gold: Swarm (MVP: deferred to Marissa Test and Elizabeth Smith of Aces Blue)
Girls 2024-2026 Silver: Onestate (MVP: Casey Cummings)
Girls 14U: Aces Blue (MVP: Mia Conine)
View photos of the Lake Placid Summit Classic, including each of the championship squads, via the Lake Placid Summit Classic Instagram feed and on the 2023 Find Your Summit Tour page. Be sure to mark your calendars for the next edition of the Lake Placid Summit Classic, set for July 29 to Aug. 4, 2024.
Use the hashtag #FNDURSUMT to check out the summer had by Summit Lacrosse Ventures and our partners as we trekked across the country to provide a premium experience for lacrosse players and their families.