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Pockets and Sockets – The Best America Has to Offer

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
What a better world this would be if the national media learned how to cover an event like this 24/7 instead of the vapidity of another Kardashian publicity-seeking attention grabber or the latest attempt to put this sport in a bad light, like the Duke travesty. For this event represented America at its’ finest; a community coming together in celebration and need. Not for the publicity, not because it was ordered to do so, not because there was a cynical buck to make. But to help out a person who genuinely has touched the hearts and souls in so many of us. And who has helped us to look this sport’s critics in the eye and forever banish the tired old cliché of lacrosse being for the wealthy and the elite. About 50 teams, almost 1,000 players and at least that many watching. To play a sport and raise some much needed funds to help out a fellow citizen who did nothing wrong except suffer an illness that he couldn’t treat without going through the type of trauma no 8-year old child should ever suffer. A million-to-one, five million-to-one, whatever the odds were that this could happen. It did, and the results are well known to everyone who has seen this extraordinary young man and his family as they have been featured on so many media outlets in the last few weeks. What is certainly a million-to-one is how well this young man and his family have handled this situation. For somehow the Gods of fortune picked the right young man and the right family. I’ve seen this so infrequently (I guess Jimmy Valvano’s ESPY speech is a pretty similar moment), how one person could have been so right for his chosen calling, whether that is driven by a higher being or not. Whatever your belief system this one makes you really think. The lacrosse itself was quite good; it was interesting to see the type of game produced without face-offs and in a 6×6 environment. Kind of took me back to my youth, when we had to invent rules for games or even invent the game itself, to meet the needs of space or number of kids available. Almost like how we would have devised a pick-up game if we could marry the life of the 60’s with the sport of today. There was a purity to the play, even as the coaches tried to coach. I’m not really sure what the coaches got out of this unless they were trying to work on individual skill sets. pocketslogo2012_opt It’s not just the lure of an early start to the summer tournament season, although most of the players certainly took that part of the event seriously. Competitive urges kick in no matter what the event is and that certainly occurred. But there was something extra at play here; I could see it in the eyes of the kids. So many with big smiles on their faces. Playing hard but also having a lot of fun (note to parents – some of you need to calm down, let the kids enjoy it a little more without having to instruct them all the time), getting to rekindle friendships from club team season’s past and making new friends for the summer. Noshing on a hot dog or burger, while keeping faith with the need to drink something nutritious, sitting on the ground between games and acting like kids should. Somehow knowing that they were involved in something bigger than themselves. Here are the results of the age groups. Boys U-9 Palm Beach All Stars Boys U-11 Naples 22 Boys U-13 (a 3-way tie led to this result) Pink Ponies – 1st place Florida Elite Lime – #1 seed champions Boys U-15 Cudas High School Boys Florida Elite White High School Girls Florida Elite Purple Middle School Girls Praetorians There was another guardian angel at this event, the tireless Jennifer Bolger (well, maybe she did sleep late on Mother’s Day before starting to think about next year), who organized this event as she has in the past. Not for recognition, but because it was the right thing to do. With a big thank you to the Seacrest Soccer Complex, the Delray Beach Athletic Club, and so many others. Michael Bolger, Jennifer’s brother-in-law and Charity Cox, who organized the referees who volunteered their time (Michael, I hope Andy got your shirt back for you! Washed!). I also met Steve Jara, who helped out on the publicity of the event through his organization LacrossePromotions.Com and gave me the use of his old-school camper to get out of the sun and provided me with more information. Thanks to all of the kids who volunteered to maintain the logistics of garbage collection and scorekeeping. The donors of the silent auction items and the parents who purchased Pockets and Sockets gear – a big thank you to you too! Laura, the entire lacrosse community applauds this event and how your family is giving back itself. For those who are not aware, Mikey and Harris came up with their own way to make a difference in others. They have set up their own charity to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings who also have had to go through an amputation. Please support this effort too. Donations can be made to: www.MikeysRun.Com Thank you again for coming out to support Pockets and Sockets and remember to participate next year too!