“Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And the venture belongs to the adventurous.” – Navjot Singh Sidhu (Indian politician)
ONE YEAR of work came down to ONE DAY. A while back I wrote an article about The Dragon Games Men’s Master lacrosse tournament and what my co-founders and myself were building and hoping to accomplish. Here’s a little recap of what happened.
Everything was set in place the night before. 6 teams were fully paid and registered to compete: Lax Street Boyz, Northwest Corner, Wizards, Brooklyn Tsunami, Touch of Grey and a house team called, The Dragon Masters. If there was one thing we couldn’t control it was the weather, as we were checking it constantly the week of the tournament due to the venue’s grass fields. As the percentages of rain fluctuated due to the remnants of a hurricane in the south, we knew the weather wasn’t going to be in our favor.
“The show must go on.” – Freddie Mercury / Queen
On the morning of game day it was raining steady, then pretty hard. Being one of the first to arrive to an empty venue with rain and grey clouds had me very concerned. The fields were soaked, with puddles and mud. But suddenly the cars belonging to the teams of the first games to compete came coming in. It officially became real once the opening whistle blew.
It became a ‘slip-and-slide’ mud fest from the start. Players lost their footing and passes were off, but legs were still moving, shots were taken and goals were being scored. A few muddy falls made for a few laughs and we all were quickly reminded that grown men were playing their favorite game as a child, with a happy, child-like mentality. While the weather made it challenging, I was quickly reminded about the ‘toughness’ of lacrosse and the resilience we develop from it. I’m sure all of the participants were quickly brought back to their younger ages when we ONLY played on grass fields. All of those thoughts and elements put aside, this was another opportunity to play more lacrosse.
While most of the competition was made up from the local teams that I have played with and against in the lower-Westchester-area of NY and one from NYC, there were also a number of names and faces whom I didn’t recognize. Those new faces helped with the validation of the event and the possibility of reaching more teams in the future. But as in any lacrosse event or outing, it was great to see both familiar and new faces to increase your lacrosse network, sort-of-speak.
As the games went on there was one team that was consistently standing out – Brooklyn Tsunami. A combination of the club team that I co-founded, Brooklyn Men’s Lacrosse Club and Tsunami Lacrosse, whom I played against in summer league. The team had a very diverse range of talent, some with outstanding credentials. It was lead by defenseman, Rich Misiano, of Stony Brook University, complimented by fellow graduates, Mike Poch and Erich Hohlman, who were dominant all day on the face-off ‘x’. On offense they had former Major League Lacrosse alums, Ryan Wheeler of the L.A. Riptide and Andy Wasik of the Long Island Lizards and Philadelphia Wings of the NLL. The defense was a very lockdown unit consisting of Matt Ossola from Marist, Eric Strub from Maryland, Ryan Garling from SUNY Plattsburgh, as well as Tim Schurr from Washington and Lee, who co-captained the gold medal winning 2002 US Lacrosse team. They were backstopped by well-noted Hollywood producer, Anthony Katagas, who was recently a member of Team Greece at the World Games of Lacrosse in Netanya, Israel.
When I saw Brooklyn Tsunami’s roster after they registered their team, I had a confident feeling that they were going to be the team to beat. When the championship game came down to Brooklyn Tsunami and the Lax Street Boyz, the game was held in an upper location of the venue on a field that wasn’t worn and damaged from prior games. The two teams competed in regular pool play with Brooklyn Tsunami winning over the Lax Street Boyz, and the outcome was the same for the Championship game. The sun eventually came out of hiding, warming up what started out as a gloomy and chilly day. Once the final whistle blew ending the Championship game, prizes and awards donated from Frog’s Leap Winery and The Art of Lax™, were given to the winning team followed my multiple photo-ops with teammates and the co-founders of The Dragon Games. But to me, that final whistle signified the end of our work as co-founders of the tournament.
“If something doesn’t exist – you just create it.” – Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder)
The Dragon Games started out as a personal idea, because I thought that my summer officially ended not on Labor Day Weekend, but on the highway of Interstate-87 returning from the Lake Placid Lacrosse tournament in Upstate NY. It was hard to accept the lack of any highly competitive, or organized opportunities in the masters ages until the spring season. I found that gap, or void, in the fall season could be filled if we created something. And if there’s ONE of the MANY things that I have learned as an entrepreneur, and as a self-starter, is that if there’s something you want, but doesn’t exist – you just go ahead and create it (as per the quote, above).
While the tournament was different once reality kicked in, the best part for me was hearing players already talking about next year. As a co-founder, along with my vital partners in this unique venture, creating that expectation and demand was a complete success!
Thank you to all teams and participants of the first ever, The Dragon Games, for letting us achieve our main objective – a tournament. The next goal is to make it an annual event, going forward. If you’re reading this and have that feeling of putting your lacrosse gear again after a long leave of absence, then get in touch with a local masters-aged team, or even better – make your own. I hope you are all believers because we definitely are, looking back at all the work done.
For more information and to stay in touch with news and updates regarding The Dragon Games, and to see more photos from the first ever event, click here. And if you still want to holler something at us, do not hesitate to drop a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to The Dragon Games 2019!