US Lacrosse Southeast Regionals Rally Lax in Raleigh
by Paul Krome | LaxMagazine.com
Patrick Ednie of the C2C (N.C.) U13 team gets off a shot against Cougar Select Black (N.C.) during opening day of the US Lacrosse Southeast Lax Fests and Regional Chamionships. Ednie, who missed his team's last tournament while on vacation, scored two goals in his return to help C2C earn a win.
RALEIGH, N.C. – It’s not unusual for family vacations to turn boring for 11-year-olds, but Patrick Ednie had extra reason to sulk a couple weeks ago in scenic Wrightsville Beach, N.C. – his team needed him.
Good thing for the C2C (N.C.) under-13 boys’ lacrosse team that the Ednies are done with vacations for now.
Ednie, a rising sixth-grade attackman, scored two goals to help C2C defeat Cougar Select Black (N.C.) as part of opening day of the US Lacrosse Southeast Lax Fests and Regional Championships, presented by Champion, at CASL Soccer Complex. Nearly 50 boys’ and girls’ teams encompassing the U11, U13 and U15 age levels and representing nine states have converged on the Research Triangle for a weekend of lacrosse.
“Depressing. Boring,” Ednie said of his family trip, which caused him to miss the Lax Splash event in Baltimore. “It feels awesome to be back, but it was hot out there.”
Ednie, a Connecticut transplant, is part of a C2C program that symbolizes the growth of the game in the Tar Heel State. C2C has fielded U9 and U11 teams in recent years and has debuted a U13 team this year, which went 1-2 with two close losses at Lax Splash, according to one team parent.
“The growth down here has been great,” said C2C head coach Kirk Parker, who moved to Raleigh from New Jersey in 2003. “We don’t really have any all-stars, just a lot of solid players.”
Ednie is one, having developed a feel for the game after playing
for three years in Connecticut before his family moved to
Wilmington, N.C., last June and then Raleigh six months later.
Naturally a comparison of the sport in the two regions of the
country ensued, and Ednie noted the game in the Northeast was a bit
“Patrick’s a big, strong kid,” Parker said. “He’s good, hard working and has a great attitude. He’s got good skills. Just needs to learn how to use his body to his advantage.”
He attends Ravenscroft (N.C.) School, one of several private schools in the state that field teams. Public Apex High School ranks among the state’s best and draws from Cougar Select. While North Carolina teams came out in force for the weekend – five of 14 teams in the Lax Fest’s boys’ U13 division are locals – Parker noted a disadvantage he and his neighbors have.
“We need more field space. If we had more field space around here, we’d have better opportunities,” he said. “Skill development is what we need more of, and opportunities for the better players to play against each other so they can advance their level. But it’s coming along.”
Still, recent actions such as sanctioning of the sport by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and the awarding of an expansion franchise in Charlotte, N.C., by Major League Lacrosse figure to boost popularity and demand at the youth level. Patrick Ednie’s father, also a Patrick, said lacrosse’s popularity in Connecticut cut into participation in baseball there.
On the fields here, with a hint of Carolina barbecue in the air, lacrosse ruled the day. Who needs vacation?
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