BY GENE NARDI
Dozens of travel lacrosse clubs from throughout Florida convened last weekend at Wellington Village Park for the inaugural Wellington Lacrosse Classic and competed in seven divisions, including a high school girls division. Forty-seven teams from Tampa to South Miami gathered in Wellington for the tournament.
“We’ve exceeded our first year’s expectations. We have teams from U-11 to high school participating here,” Tournament Director Joe Calby said.
Calby also coaches the Wellington Warpigs and is the head coach of the varsity lacrosse team at Wellington High School. The Warpigs represented two divisions at the tournament: a U-19 A and B team. The A team played in the championship match against Florida Elite White, falling 4-3. The Warpigs team is made up of mostly Wellington and Palm Beach Central high school lacrosse players.
Calby explained where the name “Warpigs” came from. “The kids joined America Supporting Americans, which is a group that coordinated student athletes to correspond with the troops overseas,” he said. “The name Warpigs is the nickname of a special military group, the 49th EOD, and so we just adopted the name to honor that group.”
Plans are already being discussed for next year’s tournament, and the bar has been set high with the success this year. The tournament also contributed as a fundraiser for the WHS lacrosse program.
Calby mentioned that lacrosse does not receive supplemental funds from the Palm Beach County School District, so it is a self-supporting unit. High school lacrosse begins in February, and many of the players prepare by participating in tournaments, as well as showcasing their skills to college coaches. It also helps those who aspire to play at the next level.
Calby credited the local parents and future lacrosse players at the school for volunteering their time to help make the event a huge success. “We’ve achieved our first goal — providing a good experience for the kids — and made it affordable for the parents,” he said. “Next year it will definitely be bigger.”
To follow the Warpigs, visit www.warpiglax.com.
Above: Warpigs midfielder Hunter Deitz battles for the ball against a Laxafarians player.