Men's Lacrosse League led by Wildwoodian Finishes First Season
The new St. Louis Men's Lacrosse League plays its championship at De Smet. There's a tired, but happy, Wildwood resident who founded the league.
Two lacrosse milestones were reached at De Smet High School over the weekend, showing the extent of lacrosse’s growth in the St Louis area.
The first season of the St. Louis Men’s Lacrosse League came to a close with its championship game as the Touchstone Transporters defeated The Cartel, 16-8, at De Smet.
The other significant milestone? James Andrew and Keith Templin, who started playing at De Smet and Vianney, respectively, said the game was their 1,000th. Last summer they added up the games and started keeping track, Templin said.
“A lot of us are old guys. Old for St. Louis lacrosse is 32-to-35,” Templin said. “It’s nice to see it come along. It took a long time to get it to this level.”
Six teams formed the league in its inaugural season, and some players had to be turned down. Bryan Dieter (from Wildwood), who organized the league’s season, said there will probably be teams added next year. The league is for any player who has graduated from high school. It's a high level of play, and the ball is never on the ground for long.
“It’s a lot of fun to have a league run by the teams, and everybody worked together to make this happen,” Mark Seyer, player/coach of the Transporters said. “Bryan Dieter obviously is leading the pack. Everybody had their own home field and worked out getting refs.”
A core group of players on Touchstone went to De Smet. James Andrew, Blake Abbenhaus, Chris Jarvis, Seyer, Joe Douglas, Mike Reinberg and Spencer Hampton are all Spartan graduates. Seyer said a lot of them played under coach Mike Sennett, graduated together and are now enjoying playing together again.
Teams played eachtoher twice in the regular season. Touchstone finished the season 9-0 and The Cartel was 8-1, with the team's only loss coming in the championship.
The Cartel opened on Sunday with a quick 2-0 lead, and went ahead, 2-1, after one quarter. The Burst brothers, Kenny and Ross (MICDS graduates), combined for the game’s first score.
The Cartel had players such as University of Denver junior Terry Ellis (Clayton) and Dartmouth senior Brian Holekamp from MICDS, who is president of his college lacrosse club. The Transporters had Seyer, Saint Louis University High’s lacrosse head coach, who specializes in taking faceoffs.
As high-scoring as lacrosse can be, winning faceoffs is crucial, Templin said, pointing out the value of teammate Seyer.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him lose a faceoff, anywhere—Europe, around the country, other tournaments here in St. Louis—I think he’s the best face-off guy I’ve ever seen.”
Each face-off win was a possession, and Touchstone turned lots of those possessions into goals. Touchstone was up 7-4 at the half and 10-5 after the third quarter.
At the end of the game, Touchstone got a bigger trophy than The Cartel, but both teams brought champagne, which was opened and finished off as jerseys were being removed.
“It was a great game, great turnout. Unfortunately, we didn’t come out on top,” Kenny Burst said.
“We had a lot of fun this season, thanks to Bryan Dieter who made this league possible. It’s a great way to get all the guys in St. Louis to play lacrosse together. Touchstone is a good team, and we look forward to doing this again next summer.”