Owl alumni laxmen to compete in charity round-robin tourney
KEENE, N.H., 9/28/10 – Keene State men’s lacrosse coach Mark Theriault enjoys the fall. His team is out of season and it gives him a chance to hold a few practices and attend a tournament or two to gauge the prospects for the upcoming spring campaign.
However, instead of looking ahead, Theriault will be looking back on Sunday. Keene State along with Eastern Conn. State, Western New England, and Springfield College will take part in a fall play-day entitled Rivals Against Autism. The event, which will take place in Mansfield, Conn., will feature members of the respective alumni groups, donning throwback uniforms and raising money for those with developmental disabilities.
“It gives our alums an opportunity to relive their playing days while also supporting a worthy cause,” said Theriault. “The players get a chance to see each other and play against teams that they had some pretty intense games with over the years.”
The alumni game concept was the brainchild of Kyle Savage, a former player for Eastern Conn. and currently a member of the Warriors coaching staff. Savage was searching for a way for alums to reconnect with their friends and former rivals as well as a way for the current Eastern Conn. team to get some community service experience.
Every alumni player will donate $20 and there will be a donation booth and a concession stands with all of the proceeds going to the Creative Living Community of Connecticut, an organization dedicated to help those with developmental disabilities share an inclusive living experience.
CLCC was the chosen charity because it was a cause close to the heart of Eastern Conn. equipment manager Scott Smith, who has a child with autism. The Warrior athletic department was quick to help with the event.
In addition to the support from the school’s administration, the other teams were quick to jump on the opportunity, including Little East rival Keene State. Mark Theriault, the Owls coach, is a Springfield alum, so a call to WNEC head coach John Klepacki (another Springfield grad) and to Springfield coach Keith Bugbee expanded the tournament to four teams for the inaugural event.
This is the first go around for Rivals Against Autism, but Savage said the organizers are hoping to add more local college alumni teams in the years to come, as well as incorporating a tournament structure to the event with a champion. The site would also rotate on a yearly basis.
The competition will begin at noon on Sunday and continue through games starting at 5 p.m. Below is the schedule:
12:00pm: Keene St. vs. Springfield
1:00pm: Eastern Conn. vs. Keene St.
2:00pm: Springfield vs. Eastern Conn.
3:00pm: Keene St. vs. W.N.E.C.
4:00pm: W.N.E.C. vs. Springfield
5:00pm: Eastern Conn. vs. W.N.E.C
(Information from Lacrosse Magazine was used in this story)