2009 E-Lacrosse Feature: Scott Boyle Summer LeagueOn Saturday, April 2, 2005, referee Scott Boyle, my friend and a friend to all of lacrosse, passed away on a lacrosse field. He was doing the job he loved. He was refereeing a Navy-Georgetown game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium when he suffered a heart attack, breaking most of ours. It was shocking to the lacrosse world and devastation to those in the Maryland Summer League, Scotty's home league during the summer. He was ever-present for years at Maryland Summer League games. When I think about great games in that league, Scott's a part of every memory. Memories of our pre- and post-game conversations and meals are treasures to me as Scott and I shared a special love for the game, as many of you do.
The following year, Marc Hofmann, the league's organizer, changed the name to the Scott Boyle Summer Lacrosse League. It was the perfect decision. Scotty needs to be remembered and where better than the league he loved to ref. The league has always featured an assortment of some of the best players in college, club and the older leagues. That's right, over 35 and over 45-year-old players running with college stars. Think that's weird? What if I told you that year in and year out, when the championship of this league is on the line, the old dudes school the youngsters? Old guys winning games is like a tradition in this league. Some of the older Baltimore players like Hofmann, Mark Hahn and others are hard for anyone to beat because they're such class players, creatures of good habits and smart play. Hahn is the best player I have ever had the honor to play with. At age 50 and over he dominated big games.
In fact, the E-Lacrosse team lost to Hahn and the old guys on Hofmann's Lax World squad for years. In our team's greatest year, we had a college All-American smorgasbord with Kyle Harrison, Neal Goldman, Walid Hajj, Joe Rosenbaum, Bobby Benson, Benson Irwin, Ryan Floyd, Kevin Boland, Damien Davis, Conor Ford, Spencer Ford, Pat Miller, Rob Scherr, Hunter Lochte, Mike Plantholt, Kyle Bell, Eric Miller and a few others. Even Tommy Ryan was on the roster, but only made a game or two. It was a great team! We did not lose all season and rarely were involved in close games.
We had our best chance ever to win a championship, but Lax World, the perennial champion, was in the way. The final was set and a crowd even showed up. The Hahn-led Lax World squad played perhaps the smartest, slowest, most skilled game I have ever seen. Their teamwork stood tall above the talents displayed on our side of the field. In fact, by halftime, the E-Lacrosse parents that lined the field rooting hard for their kids, finally just gave in and rooted for the old guys. I did too. It was cathartic, watching people our age beat our kids. These guys rejuvenated all those in attendance over 35. It wasn't a close game. The best players in the college game were beaten by a team with five players over 50! To this day, the kids on that E-Lacrosse squad still claim that Hahn had one of the best midfield performances they have ever witnessed.
Coincidentally, E-Lacrosse now sponsors the old guys that were that Lax World team back then, and the team still wins. The first championship trophy won by an E-Lacrosse team in this league did not occur until we decided to sponsor the old guys who kept crushing us. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
The Scott Boyle Summer Lacrosse League plays on the turf and back fields at Gilman on Northern Parkway and Roland Avenue. They don't mind spectators at all. The games are usually on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Visit the Gilman fields at 6:30 p.m. on these days from now until July 24 (weather permitting) and you can watch some pretty good lacrosse in a very casual environment. The playoffs begin July 28 and the championship will be played on August 5.
June 30, 2008
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