By Garrett Fitzgerald
The U-19 tournament was a great display of high school lacrosse
talent at it finest. The Baltimore Crabs won there second straight
championship and did it in convincing fashion. They overmatched
many defenses using their talented depth to out play every team
The Crabs showed a level of teamwork that is usually uncommon at
the Shootout. They played great team lacrosse, and really set them
selves apart from the rest of the field. Baltimore was stifled in
the semifinals by a gifted Ohio team, and for all intents and purposes
that was the deciding game of the U-19 tournament. Ohio was the
only team with a defense capable of slowing down the slew of NCAA
DI players that filled out the Baltimore roster.
The big surprise of the boy's tournament was the squad from Arizona.
While not actually being made up of very many Arizona players, they
did a great job of getting everything out of their players. Arizona
certainly made a case for having one of the best face-off groups
to come through the tournament in some time. But despite all their
talent they ran into a Crabs team that was on a hot streak.
From the rest of the field Idaho was clearly the biggest up and
comer. The 7th year team fought their way into the championship
bracket for the first time. It was good to see this team finally
fulfilling the potential they had for the last year or two.
The Idaho coach, Blake Gaudet was very pleased with the way his
team preformed, ending with a 2-2 record. "This was the first
group of kids that had been playing together since the U15 level"
Gaudet pointed out. "This wasn't the most talented group we've
brought to the tournament, but they are the best 'team' we've had"
Gaudet said. Look for Idaho to be back with a strong team in 2008,
along with the usual suspects for next years U19 tournament.
Even though there was a slightly smaller field than in years past
for the Dr. Tom Watts Memorial U-19 Tournament, the competition
was still top notch. There was a high brand of lacrosse on exhibited
from all teams, and a level of competitiveness that was a treat