Turtle Lax Makes Strong Showing

OCEAN CITY- The Greene Turtle boy’s elite travel lacrosse team made a strong showing in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions last weekend, rallying for four straight wins after dropping its first two contests to capture the championship in the consolation bracket.

The Greene Turtle club, made up of some of the top high school lacrosse players from across the Eastern Shore including many from Stephen Decatur and Worcester Prep, traveled to Tampa last weekend to compete in the prestigious Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions, an invite-only tourney featuring some of the best high school All-Star teams in the country with a potential national championship on the line.

The team was invited after enjoying one of its best seasons ever this year, winning several big time tournaments along the way. To earn an invitation to the Dick’s Tournament of Champions, each of the competing teams had to win at least one of the many sanctioned tournaments around the country during the year, and the Greene Turtle earned its place in the boys’ elite division with a championship in the Brine Summer Sizzle this year.

The Greene Turtle club struggled a little out of the gates last week, dropping its first two games in pool play last Friday to be sent to the consolation bracket. The Turtle fell to Connecticut, 4-2, in its first game before dropping a 6-4 decision to Atlanta in its second contest. Coach Steve Pappas said this week his team’s late arrival at the venue coupled with a very early start time for its first game likely caused the early setbacks.

Nonetheless, the Greene Turtle regrouped and excelled in the consolation tournament, reeling off four straight wins, three of which came against teams seeded much higher than it was, to claim the championship. All in all, the Greene Turtle finished 17th out of the field of 27 teams in the tournament’s elite division, the highest it could finish after dropping its first two contests.

Throughout the tournament, the Greene Turtle’s defense, led by Jeff Moore and Hunter Marshall, along with Stephen and Jason Pappas, played extremely well, holding to some of the top teams in the country to single-digit goal totals. On the offensive side, the Greene Turtle got it cranked up during its four-win run through the consolation bracket led by Justin Butler, Sean Wright, Daniel Steele, Calvin Snyder, Chris Dashiell and Brad Harris.

The Greene Turtle team features some of the top local high school players in the area, but the current roster will likely be decimated by graduation in the coming year with as many as 11-12 roster spots coming open. The club will hold tryouts for the 2009 campaign sometime in early March.