In the midst of the current spring sports drought, two local high school lacrosse coaches have created a nationwide competition taking place on Friday.
Avon coach Adam Cost and Hamden Hall coach Kevin Warnock, who were teammates and roommates at Springfield College, began the competition as it has grown from four teams to 55 as of Monday afternoon.
Players on each team will film themselves getting as many touches as they can, bouncing the ball against a wall, within a 20 second time frame.
“Kids can practice and try to get as many touches as they can in their 20 second time span, so they can film themselves 100 times and just send in their individual best amount,” Warnock said. “We are hoping that kids are getting out there and trying to continually get better, not just one try at it. This is a way for us to still be competitive and compete as a team.”
Each team needs 20 players including a goalie with boys teams required to include four long poles.
The team with the most total touches at the end will be declared the winner. “We originally saw it from Glastonbury and Cheshire high when they ran it as a one-on-one competition,” Warnock said. “Adam and I started picking each other’s brain thinking lets introduce other people, so we started reaching out to see if people were interested and it started taking off from there.”
The competition will be split into four quarters, each starting an hour apart with the first quarter beginning at 1:00 p.m. Friday.
“Friday afternoon will be our game day,” Cost said. “We will release the leaderboard on the Avon Falcons lacrosse Instagram page and then use the hashtag #TeamWallBallChallenge2020 so everyone can keep track of it. We will release the first quarter scores and the teams will post their first five videos at that time. At 2:00 the second quarter starts and we post the next five.”
The competition’s 55 teams consist of schools from 14 different states as well as one from Canada and has even garnered interest from professional teams.
“I reached out to a couple of friends and said let’s do this as a group thing,” Cost said. “So I reached out to Kevin, who was my college roommate and teammate and I reached out to another teammate and friend so we had four teams including ourselves. Then Kevin and I decided to keep talking to people and it snowballed from there and now we are up to 55 teams across the country.”
Eight of the registered squads are girls teams, which will be competing alongside the boys teams.
“The skill that is being done is really gender neutral,” Cost said. “It is an activity that the girls and the boys can compete against each other and no one has an advantage.”
The event not only provides student athletes the ability to compete again, but there will be prizes as well. The grand prize will be 30 custom jerseys provided by Savage TeamWear in Southington.
“We secured way more prizes or sponsors, if you want to call it that, than we anticipated,” Cost said. “We got about 70% of the people who are currently registered without knowing that prizes would be involved. It was just something that they wanted to do, but as we started talking to some of our Springfield and high school connections saying look at this thing we’re doing, you guys want to throw something at it? And they said absolutely. Savage was a connection through Kevin, and we secured a couple professional players to donate some time with their online training platform, and we secured some swag from some former college teammates.”
With three days remaining before game day, new teams are still being accepted.
“Registration is still open,” Warnock said. “The positive of it being on social media is that as long as they can submit scores to us we can always add teams, so don’t be shy and jump in. I went out yesterday and tried to do my best and got 25. It’s a tough competition, but it is something without having a season that creates some competitive connections for our kids.”
“I am going to get out there today,” Warnock said. “I saw Kevin did 25 in 20 seconds, there’s no way I am letting him beat me.”
Connecticut teams registered
Avon, Hamden Hall, Glastonbury, Guilford, Somers, NFA, King, Southington, Xavier, North Branford, RHAM, Avon (Girls), Cheshire, Bacon Academy, Northwest Catholic, South Windsor, and Simsbury.