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Space Needle Shootout - 2017 Recap

The Washington Lacrosse Foundation hosted their 14th annual Space Needle Shootout this past weekend in Tukwila, Washington. With 83 teams participating, the SNS is the largest boys lacrosse tournament on the west coast, with teams from all over the Pacific Northwest and western states (Vancouver, BC to Sacramento, CA). This event gives highly experienced youth, middle school and high school players the chance to compete against the best teams from around the greater region. This kind of opportunity makes this event a must-do for every competitive lacrosse player, as different play and coaching styles clash in an exciting tournament at the Starfire Sports Complex.

Nanaimo District Secondary School is one of 35 Canadian teams that are repeat participants of the Space Needle Shootout, and head coach Joel Smith couldn’t be more excited to bring his boys back for their third year.

“It’s a great event, great complex. Our kids get jacked up to come and play Washington teams that we don’t get to see in B.C. on a week-to-week basis.” said Smith. For NDSS, this event marks the beginning of their tournament circuit, much like many of the participating Canadian teams from the Vancouver B.C. area.

“We’re an academy program so we’re just starting to get into the meat of our season, so we’ve got one tournament at Claremont, and the Space Needle kind of kicks us off for our tournament schedule.” said Smith. “We’re just excited to be here and get games going.”

This event gets marked on every team’s calendar as an exciting opportunity to test out their abilities against teams beyond their respective regions, while also getting the chance to purchase some new gear from local and far away vendors.

Young entrepreneurs like 16 year old Maxx Stewart get the chance to bring their product to more than 80 lacrosse teams. Maxx runs his company Spyder Grypz, that he started originally as a middle school project to later enter it in a nation wide contest. He makes lacrosse grips that players are able to purchase and outfit to their shafts in as quick as 5 minutes right before game time.

“It’s a great way to meet new people and really play lacrosse.” said Max. “There’s a lot of people that have come in to check it out and buy it, and we’ll install it on the shafts.”

This was Maxx’s third year since starting his project that he has been able to bring his unique ideas to his local lacrosse community. He isn’t without help however as his father, Ed Stewart, has played an active role in his son’s business and expressed his wide appreciation for how accommodating the event is to vendors.

“The Shootout has been great!” said Stewart. “The setup here has been wonderful, the way they have set it up for multiple vendors and for kids to get out of the rain, it's been a great experience.”

The rain didn’t keep anyone’s spirits down however as there was a lot of hot competition to be had no matter what bracket you followed. The weather has become a bit of a staple for the Space Needle Shootout as rain is expected and for those hardcore lacrosse lovers, it’s welcomed.

Congratulations to this year’s Space Needle Shootout tournament winners!

5th/6th Division Champions- New Westminster Salmonbellies

7th/8th Division Champions - Lake Oswego Youth Lacrosse

HS Division Champions (9th/10th) - Claremont Seconday School

Elite Division Champions (9th-12th) - Bellevue High School

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