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Presenting the 2011-12 CILA Box Lacrosse League Champions

0 - Published February 3, 2012 by in Adult, Box, Champions, CILA, Des Moines, Growth, High School, Iowa Colleges, Summer Lax, Summer League, Tournament, Youth

2012 Jim Burk Trophy Winners - Cyclones

For the third straight year, the Cyclones are the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association Box Lacrosse League champions.  After finishing the season without a single loss (including a forfeit win courtesy of the Bulldogs), the Cyclones have now maintained a perfect record over three seasons of play.

Championship Game: Cyclones 11, Aces 6

Nielsen (Aces) tries to avoid pressure in the offensive half

Yesterday I said that this game would be intense, and I was definitely not mistaken.  This game was highly physical and it did not take long before both teams asked for more calls, which we obliged.  Despite the constant pressure, we only issued a handful of penalties and there were no major infractions.

Griess (Aces) exploits Van Dyke's (Cyclones) trick knee & some fat guy "refs"

The Aces got off to a strong start with three goals.  Strong pressure on both sides of the ball held the Cyclones scoreless for 14 and a half minutes.  A well timed check led to a dropped ball and the Cyclones’ first goal of the night near the end of the first period.

The Aces led by a pair as the second period began.  Midway through the period, the Cyclones had leveled the score.  They managed to end the period with a two goal advantage of their own.

Woodcock as the Cyclones' turnaround really got underway

The depth of the teams showed as the Aces began to run out of gas.  With nearly twice as many subs, the Cyclones hit the accelerator and pulled further ahead.  As the minutes turned into seconds, the Aces offense squandered a few legitimate chances and Levis left the game with an injury (let’s just say that wearing a cup would have been wise).

In the end, both teams put forth a great effort.  This game featured strong play and the crowd* was highly entertained.  All-in-all, this was a text book championship game.

Dragons’ goalie Fitch was kind of enough to grab some pics.  Click here to visit the gallery.

Consolation Game: Bulldogs 7, Dragons 5

To wrap up the season, the remaining semifinalists met to officially decide third place.  Due to scheduling issues, these teams only got to meet once during the regular season.  Both continually expressed a desire to play again – and in all fairness, their original match up was fairly competitive.  So competitive in fact, that the score was identical to last night’s game.

Both teams hit the floor in high spirits.  It was immediately clear that this game would be almost the polar opposite of the championship game.  Although both teams were competitive, there was less tension in the air.  Sportsmanship was strong and checking was controlled.  The game moved quickly and was still engaging.  These teams clearly enjoyed playing each other.

Unfortunately, we did not get pictures of this game…

The Box Lacrosse League will be back next fall.  Our goal is to reach six teams. hopefully we can schedule three games per night and have teams meet twice during the season.  The top four teams will make the semifinals, which means more as the number of teams increases.  As usual, goalkeepers will be in high demand.

In the meantime, I wish the Iowa State Cyclones and Drake Bulldogs the best of luck during their upcoming seasons!

*In addition to the Bulldogs and Dragons players in attendance, there were at least two dozen “fans” at the championship game.  In an out-of-the-way facility that maybe holds 50, it looked impressive.  For a semi-competitive league is a sport that is still unknown in the metro, it was impressive.  Sadly there were no pics of the crowd.

Planning is currently underway for a revamped high school and adult summer lacrosse program.  A few ideas are being considered ranging from a revamped player assignment system to pick up games.  There will be summer lacrosse in Des Moines this year, but an official announcement will not be made until late April or May.

In addition to the local league, we intend to field a men’s team in a few regional tournaments this summer.  As these plans come to fruition, more information will be released.  I am currently seeking tournaments that are economically feasible and within reasonable travel distance; if you know of such a tournament, contact me.

CILA is also progressing on the youth lacrosse front.  Three organizations in the Des Moines area have expressed interest in working with us to expand the sport.  Our primary condition is that the focus is on development and not profit.  Since lax is in its infancy here and few (if any) younger players have equipment, it makes little sense to charge basketball dollars for the sport.  Our current plan has the youth program open to boys currently (2011-12 school year) in grades 4-8.

We are currently developing a five year plan for youth development, which includes high school expansion goals.  Youth development is our top priority going forward.  Expect to hear more about this than the adult program in the coming months…