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Under Armour All-America Game Celebrates 10 Years
Ten years in the making and the Under Armour All-America game is one of the premier spectacles in the world of high school lacrosse.
On July 3, fans will gather at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium to watch the nation's best high school lacrosse talent face off against one another. Among the 88 players participating in the senior game, are 23 Marylanders.
Although metro teams and online recruiting rankings create hype around the sport, earning Under Armour All-America honors remains the most esteemed title for high school players.
After realizing a McDonald's All-American game didn't exist for the sport of lacrosse, Corrigan Sports president Lee Corrigan came up with the idea for an All-American game in 2003. Two years later, in 2005, Corrigan teamed up with Under Armour, and a platform for the sport's elite to compete was born.
The game originally started with the format of senior showcase games and an underclassmen matchup between teams from Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
The following year, Corrigan received interest from Johns Hopkins men's head lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala on gaining access to the tryouts for the underclassmen all-star team.
In 2006, the underclassmen matchup expanded to six teams, now featuring regional teams from Philadelphia, Long Island, upstate New York and New Jersey. Corrigan believes those teams create regional pride for kids and coaches who come to Baltimore hoping to put on a show.
The underclassmen game was originally created to draw fans into the seats, but ultimately is what made the event take off, Corrigan said.
In addition to making the event more successful, Corrigan is proud because the underclassmen tryouts give players access to more than 100 college coaches from all divisions.
"It kicks off summer recruiting," Corrigan said. "The best stories are from the kids who don't make the all-star team, but get the college access, anyways."
Corrigan attributed the event's success and growth to Corrigan Sports' background of running club tournaments and his passion for the game and players.
With the game's continued growth and the inaugural match occurring in 2005, many Under Armour All-America alumni have gone on to play for top 25 college programs in Division I. Corrigan hopes to show the impact of the Under Armour All-America Game with an all-decade team at this year's event.
In last year's boys' competition, the South defeated the North, 17-16, in overtime, and former St. Paul's Crusader Mikey Wynne earned Most Valuable Player honors. It was an opposite outcome for the girls' team, with the North defeating the South, 18-11. The girls' South team has not pulled off a win since 2010.
Last year's Baltimore teams also posted impressive statistics, with the boys leading the pool with a 4-0 record, and the girls coming in second with a 3-1 record.
Shootout For Soldiers Raises More Than $200K
At 7 p.m. June 18, a tired group of lacrosse players, and an even more tired group of volunteers gathered to celebrate their successful philanthropic efforts. After sticking it out through 18 hours of rain, the rainbow above W. Boulton Dixon Field symbolized this group's great triumph.
Twenty-four lacrosse games and 24 hours later, Shootout for Soldiers founder Tyler Steinhardt and the Shootout for Soldiers team raised $201,300 for veterans, according to The Baltimore Sun.
This year's Shootout for Soldiers Baltimore event was held at McDonogh June 17-18. The event featured 24 one-hour lacrosse games played by boys and girls of all levels.
The Shootout for Soldiers mission is to raise awareness of the challenges veterans face once returning home, motivate others to assist veterans and ultimately raise funds for a variety of veterans organizations (Wounded Warrior Project, Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund, Gary Sinise Foundation, Semper Fi Foundation and Team Red White & Blue).
All of the money collected through donations, apparel sales, food sales and sponsorships will be split amongst the five different charities.
Following an opening ceremony that drew the tournament's largest number of fans to date, the event's first game featured an all-veteran team led by Towson University head coach Shawn Nadelen.
The final game showcased college talent from programs around the county. Other games were played by premier Baltimore high school talent or coached by college coaches and professional Major League Lacrosse players.
University of Maryland junior RJ Kaminski served as the voice of Shootout for Soldiers. A Boys' Latin alumnus, Kaminski became involved with the event through his connection with former Laker and founder Steinhardt. This year, Kaminski broadcasted the 24-hour shootout on the event's live YouTube stream.
Kaminski said the event brought together more than 15,000 people in the community and was a huge success. Kaminski believes the decision to partner with Under Armour for apparel helped take the event to another level.
"When you combine a company that produces a quality product with an event that raises money for deserving charities, you get a busy apparel tent," Kaminski said. "Volunteers swiped credit cards for more than 24 hours."
The shootout ended with the Stars defeating the Stripes, 344-336.
This year, the event will expand to Boston, Ohio, California and Long Island. The next shootout is in Boston at Harvard University June 26-27.
Q&A: Manchester Valley Sophomore Attacker Lauren Cremen
Rising sophomore Lauren Cremen brings young talent and passion to the Maryland Class 2A/1A state champion Manchester Valley Mavericks. Cremen made head coach Shelly Brezicki's varsity team as freshman, and was a strong contributor in Manchester Valley's perfect 2015 season.
Coming from a lacrosse family, Cremen started pursuing the sport when she was 6 years old. It was her mother's passion for the game growing up that brought the attacker to lacrosse. Cremen's older sister, Morgan, is also a junior defender at McKendree University.
Cremen primarily plays attacker, but occasionally fills in holes in the Mavericks' midfield. When not playing for Brezicki, Cremen plays club lacrosse for Check-Hers Elite Black, and she is also a member of the soccer and basketball teams at Manchester Valley.
Off the field, the rising sophomore participates in student government and the Key Club.
PressBox: What are your lacrosse plans for the summer?
Lauren Cremen: I will continue to play club lacrosse. I've been looking and contacting many colleges and plan to do camps for the main colleges I am interested in.
Overall, I want to get my name out there to as many colleges as I can and find the right fit for me. The recruiting process is very exciting, and I'm excited to see what my future holds. I am continuing to keep the stick in my hand and exercise to improve my skills.
PB: What was the most memorable part of your undefeated season?
LC: The most memorable part of my undefeated season was the determination and hard work every single player, coach and spectator put into the season. We were all extremely close and pushed each other to improve every day. We worked so hard and had lots of fun doing it. Every single player on Manchester Valley's team had heart, but the most memorable part would be the people involved in our program and the impact they made in my life forever.
PB: What did winning the championship mean to you?
LC: Winning the championship meant everything to me. I'm so lucky to experience this kind of thrill only as a freshman. Now, I am even more motivated to keep the winning streak going. I will forever remember this moment with such a great group of people.
For more from Cremen, including her goals for next season and most influential teammates, check out the full interview here.
Visit CountySportsZone.com for Maryland high school schedules, scores and standings.