Hot & Humid . . . So What? Club Play is Back and Thank God For It! ‘Sunshine Games’ Had More Than One Meaning Yesterday . . .

 

Yeah, it was REALLY hot and humid yesterday in Vero.

I moved down here from New York in early 1991.  Of course, the first question from my NY friends was always ‘how do you stand the summers?’.  Of the estimated 10 million NY born and raised who moved here the last number of years know, the simple answer is, ‘it beats Manhattan in the summertime’, and it really does.  No high-rise concrete, glass and steel corridors that multiply heat exponentially.  No smelly sewage grates down here.  No horrendously ventilated subway stations either.

As far as I know, Boca Raton has NEVER had a 100 degree day, and I remember plenty of days living in Manhattan, having to take the subway in a suit (for the kids today, that was a matching pants and jacket, a button down oxford shirt, actually buttoned all the way up, and a tie that accentuated the outfit . . . you have no idea how blessed you are with casual dress, but you are also cursed with not knowing how that taught you fashion) and sweating my rear end off on the way home to my apartment.  There were days when I would actually take a bus that took over an hour instead of a 20-minute subway ride so I could be in air conditioning.

The past week is as bad as I remember it down here.  But still it beats Manhattan in the summer, so the answer stays the same.

 

 

The Sunshine State Games have been around a while now and this year it was sponsored by The Orange Bowl and was moved to Vero Beach from Plantation due to Covid-19 concerns . . . Indian River County has been far less impacted by the CCP’s virus (sorry, but I am not going PC on this one, they caused it pure and simple and lied to everyone about it . . . that’s the only time I’ll go political) than the Dade-Broward region.  Bo Lamon’s Lacrossewear has run this for a while too.

As many of the readers already know, I do not care who wins club events, so please do not write in wondering why I didn’t cover little Suzie’s U-10 3-0 pool play record and little Johnnie’s U-12 title.  These results are fine for coaches and parents to brag on but I go to events to meet people, catch up with those I know, and to hopefully spread the existance of the website to a new group of kids and parents, since basically every 3 years I have a new cycle of players and families to meet.  Hard to believe, but it’s been since the 2013 high school season that I have written here and realistically I’m on my 3rd-4th generation of high school players now.

 

 

This has been a horrible year for the sport in the state.  3 Deaths and 3 serious injuries and illnesses; the latest being former Tampa Jesuit player Cade Hampton, who passed away recently in a boating accident in Weddington, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte.  Based on what I’ve heard, the family had moved to NC before he graduated down here.  The high school season was cancelled half-way through, which in a few ways is even tougher emotionally than the northern schools that didn’t even get to start.

All in all, a difficult first half of the calendar year with pretty much no silver linings.

I’m kind of tired of the term ‘green shoots’ but yesterday it felt like a page being turned, even if not quite fully flipped over.  I did find a way to avoid a lot of the direct sun but trust me, the sweat did not escape me.  Just seeing kids out there having fun and pushing themselves in a regular club setting (this was not the only setting, as there was another event up the road in Viera that I did not get to) was enough to overlook the heat, as was the 3 bottles of Gatorade . . . Blue and Red are my favorites . . . and it JUST FELT RIGHT.

 

 

Finally.  And there are a lot of events coming up that I will be talking about too!

Familiar faces.  Paul, JC and the other refs.  Coaches.  A few players.  By the way, watch out in future years for Tommy Noll’s kid brother, hasn’t grown yet but you can see the thinking and skills that come with having a big brother like he does.  I really do enjoy watching the younger age groups, their abilities at this age were far less prevalent when I started in 2013.  Rob Wurzburger’s Girls looked in form too.  I didn’t get to see much of the high school boys since I parked in the first lot I turned into, and it would be quite the walk, so I didn’t get to say ‘hi’ to the best lacrosse photographer on earth, so here’s my shout out to Larry Palumbo (Seth Green’s a close second but he’s out of pocket . . . and cell phone range it seems too . . . for now).  Probably see you on Thursday buddy!

The schedule coming up is great.  Prospects Games on Thursday for me, as I’m scheduled to be on the broadcast team for the streaming to the college coaches who unfortunately can’t attend due to the NCAA dark period being extended.  Club events in Vero and Tampa over the weekend.  Then on to the FSLCA All-Star Game on Friday and the Orlando event that weekend and finally August in Palm Coast!  We’ll be getting out to almost all of them (I can’t possibly be in both Vero and Tampa this weekend) and hopefully we’ll see a lot of new fans of FLN!  This week we’ll be focusing on the high schools since the Prospects event has an interesting tie-in with the season that didn’t finish.

 

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