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Farmingdale's Lax Festival a hit

The Farmingdale girls lacrosse team poses on its

The Farmingdale girls lacrosse team poses on its home field at Lax Festival. (Sept. 29, 2013) (Credit: Newsday/Stephen Haynes)

What offseason?

More than 30 teams participated and hundreds of supporters showed up at Farmingdale High School last Sunday to watch girls lacrosse. Farmingdale hosted its "Lax Festival," an exhibition tournament which included teams from across the island, from the varsity level on down to youth league, competing in a series of 7-on-7 games.

Yes, in autumn. And yes, on Sunday, typically a day of rest for many – particularly for the athletes who also play fall sports – but they didn’t mind.

"Playing lacrosse is never a sacrifice," Farmingdale junior Bridget Weill said. She plays volleyball in the fall. “It’s also the first time we’ve been back together since states, so it’s a great seeing everyone again.”

Added teammate Kim Amazon: "This is fun for us. Yeah, you’re giving up a Sunday, but it’s worth it. I enjoyed myself."

The festival had the look of a town fair, with music and a bevy of concession tents selling everything from apparel to homemade food and pastries.

The purpose: travel costs and new uniforms for the girls lacrosse team. Farmingdale will play several out of town opponents when its spring lacrosse season begins, and the money raised will help cover the travel expenses. It will also go toward new duds for the Dalers.

“Being a team that wears Nike, we’re required to get new uniforms more regularly than some and this tournament helps offset those costs,” Dalers co-coach Tracy Wiener said. “The new uniforms are amazing; very worthy of a state championship team.”
She was, of course, referring to Farmingdale’s run to capture its third Class A state title back in June.

The new uniforms will be a re-design of the usual home whites and road greens. They also will debut a new dark alternate “for special occasions.”

Planning for the event began at the end of last school year, Wiener said, and it was organized by “our parent committee,” which includes the Gaghan, Brescia, Marlow and Weill families.

For the other teams involved (among them Plainedge, Sacred Heart, Bayport and Smithtown East), it was an opportunity to take the field, with their regular teammates, in organized competition.

“We have weekly practices year-round, but it’s nice to get the whole back together and play some games,” Mt. Sinai senior Alex Flobeck said. “We had known about this [tournament] for a while and we were excited.”

There will be more lacrosse this Sunday as Farmingdale State hosts the “Lax for Hope” tournament. That event, a similar showcase with 50 teams, will help raise money for local breast cancer coalitions.  “Lax for Hope” has raised over $100,000 in its three years, said Wiener, who is among the organizers, along with Northport coach Carol Rose.

“I’m an alumni and I still live in the community, so although I don’t coach here, I’m still happy to take part in things like this,” said Cold Spring Harbor coach Danielle Skakandi. “It’s good to get my players to do more things outside of the season, especially when it’s for a good cause.”