Every coach you’ve ever played for has told you that “ground balls win games,” that whichever team picks up the most ground balls is likely to be the one who scores the most goals.
I’m here to tell you that in California if you want to win a game on the matted carpet we call grass, pick up ground balls. But if you want to win a summer tourney, swag up. After countless tournaments this summer, we’ve come to the conclusion that the same correlation between ground balls and winning games exists between being the best dressed and winning summer tournaments.
We predicted this trend in 2011 when we claimed that the present may be lacrosse’s “Golden Age” of sublimated swag. The summer of 2012 in California was a hop skip and a jump in the right direction, and we’re going to feature two of the teams who did it best by both winning their CA tournaments and by looking sharp doing it.
To say the Adrenaline Tropics were dominant in Tahoe this summer would be a wild understatement.
Not only did both the Men’s team and the U19 team go undefeated to win their respective championships in consecutive weekends, they had matching swag too. It’s rare to see such uniform uniformity, such pinnie parity, such sublimated sameness between teams at the youth and post-collegiate levels. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned watching lacrosse grow in California, it’s that Adrenaline can do just about anything for the first time.
The Tropics came fitted with basketball-style mesh jerseys sublimated to their suit their tropical tastes with matching tailored board shorts. They all could’ve walked straight to the beach at Incline Village without having to change.
In addition to the half-wraps they had made for their CPX-R helmets, they also came fully equipped with brand new custom Epoch Dragonfly C30 shafts for each player. Here’s a testimonial from U19 stud midfielder Michael Hernandez (Piedmont, CA – Michigan 2016): “these Epoch shafts are sick… super lightweight and awesome texture. When I was shooting I could feel it bend and snap forward on the release. Coach Dan Meehan stepped on a an Epoch d-pole and it was more than a 45 degree bend.” We’ve been touting this product here at SSL for some time now, so I’m glad to see it being used by the best players around.
This year, we were lucky enough to catch the action at the Vitality Lacrosse Battle of the Bay tournament on Treasure Island. The U19 division featured some of the top talent from the East Bay and San Francisco areas. Lacrosse All Stars’ very own team Party Down was on a mission from the opening whistle to be the best looking team around. Oh yeah, and they wanted to win too.
ZimaGear served as Party Down’s sherpa on the journey to the peak of Mt. Swagmore. Each player received LASPD shorts, individually customized reversibles featuring their Twitter handles, and full helmet wraps for either a CPX-R or a Pro7. The design concept was fresh, fun, and–after watching some of the highlights on ReadyReplay–clearly had every player’s confidence at an all time high. Shorts rolled up once to display the “LET’S GET WEIRD” printed on the inside of the waistband.
Party Downers came prepared with many choices of matching undershirts, socks, and compression shorts to accent the already blinding uniforms. Together, the sideline was a sight to be seen even for someone who does a lot of these tournaments.
Party Down won the final 7-6 against a very talented NorCal Braves team, giving one final trademark “Let’s get weird!” before heading back across the Bay Bridge.
The summer trends in California are undeniable: Midfielders go to Michigan. Ground balls win games. Swag equals trophies.