Armstrong’s Cole Seidel has played in his share of stifling box lacrosse rinks, but not much could have prepared him for his latest tour with the Burnaby Mountain Selects senior Elite field team in Maryland.
In the midst of an eastern continental heat wave, the Selects, the sole Canadian squad competing, played in temperatures reaching the low 50s (with humidity) at the 22nd annual Champ Camp in Baltimore. The city’s health department issued a state-wide code red heat alert for the entire tournament.
“You had to be careful. You have to drink so much water. It’s almost scary; there was this one kid on another team who couldn’t walk. His legs just started cramping up,” said Seidel, a 17-year-old Pleasant Valley Secondary student.
The four-day event featured more than 2,000 athletes on 72 teams representing 22 states and the District of Columbia.
The Selects finished the four-game round-robin as the second seed behind five-time defending champion and eventual runners-up, Dukes Lacrosse Club.
After opening with an 8-7 overtime loss to Select Lacrosse of Pennsylvania, Burnaby Mountain reeled off two straight wins, grounding Minnesota’s Lakeshore Lakers 9-8 and New Jersey’s Team Turnpike 5-1.
They ended the round-robin at 2-2 when they fell 7-0 to Dukes of Pennsylvania, but became one of only four teams west of the Mississippi to qualify for the Top 32 championship bracket.
The Selects didn’t fare so well in playoff action, losing 10-2 to FuZe Blue of Virginia, 7-3 to For The Love of The Game of New York, and 6-3 to Red and Black Elite of New Jersey.
Seidel, a midfielder, said it was great to go up against top North American competition and meet some of college recruiters and coaches that scouted the event.
“Seeing the universities and getting to talk to the coaches was great. And just playing against some of the top players; the players down there are in better shape. They’re so fast it’s ridiculous,” said Seidel.
During their stay, the Selects took in an afternoon baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and L.A. Angels, and wrapped up their trip with a day in New York City, touring Manhattan and visiting Battery Park, Ground Zero, Rockefeller Plaza, Macy’s, Trump Tower and Times Square.