Lacrosse Festival In E’Ville
Inaugural Event September 22-23: Over 30 Teams to Participate
By Nicholas Pircio
Get set for an exciting weekend of one of the fastest growing sports in the country when the first ever Ellicottville Lacrosse Festival kicks off Friday September 22nd and runs through Sunday September 24th. The inaugural event is the result of nearly a year’s worth of cooperation between the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce and Rhino Lacrosse.
Central New Yorker Ryan Powell, the co-director, is excited to be involved in this latest endeavor, bringing the sport to what he calls one of the coolest small towns in America. Powell has taken part in several lacrosse tournaments across the country. “Ellicottville is one of those cool small towns, so we’re very excited to bring the tournament there!”
Powell explains they use the fall season to recruit teams and promote an event when the teams play. He said, “The tournament is open to any teams in the divisions that we offer to come and play.” This includes contacting coaches and club directors, and inviting them to come.
“There are traveling select teams and also town-based teams.” Divisions include fifth and sixth grades, seventh and eighth grades, and a high school JV division. “We have a high school varsity division, a men’s open division which is 21 plus, and then a men’s masters division which is 30 plus.”
Powell says he’s helped run several successful tournaments, one of the bigger ones being in Saratoga Springs. “I’ve been at it a long time. My company Rhino Lacrosse runs lacrosse camps across the country, along with managing these big events. We also do traveling select club lacrosse. I’ve been doing this through my Rhino Lacrosse business since 2005. I’ve been in lacrosse my entire life.”
About 36 teams will be participating in the Ellicottville Lacrosse Festival. These will be male teams only, though in future events, Powell said girls could eventually be added, which often happens once an event is established.
Event sites will be at ECS, with four divisions there, and at the village park, where the men’s open and men’s masters will be held. “Saturday will be a little different, when we put our vendor village in downtown Ellicottville, right near the gazebo. That will be open from 12 until 6:30. All of our lacrosse vendors will be there, and there’s going to be a wood stick demonstration that happens during that time.”
Powell says lacrosse is by far the fastest growing sport in the country, and has been for several years. “(Interest among) girls is not slowing down at all. Lacrosse has spread to the west coast, and the sport is doing very well.”