Of the more than 450 youth who participate in NE Denver lacrosse (lax) leagues, three players were selected to participate in the opening ceremony at the World Lacrosse games.
Trevon Hamlet, a City Lax player who grew up in NE Denver and just graduated from Kent Denver, was selected to carry the ceremonial stick and lead the parade of 38 teams onto the field at the World Lacrosse Championship opening ceremonies. Hamlet was this year’s recipient of the Zach Hills Award, an honor given to a high school lacrosse player who demonstrates inspiration, courage and a special commitment to the game of lacrosse. Hamlet plans to enroll at the University of Colorado in the fall, putting him on track to be the first member in his family to graduate from college. “He’s both smart and determined, as well as being a genuinely thoughtful and caring individual. A great role model for youth today,” says Rod Allison, executive director Denver City Lax.
Two Stapleton Jets players, Charlie Jones and Cooper Silverstein, were among the 38 youth players selected to escort a team at the opening ceremony. Their coaches wrote why they should be selected for this honor:
“Charlie (Jones) is the type of player every coach dreams of having on his or her team. He works tirelessly, hustles 100% of the time, is a fantastic listener and does anything the coaches ask of him and anything the team needs of him.”
“Cooper (Silverstein) lives and breathes lacrosse. He values being a teammate above anything else. This past season he has fought foot problems throughout the year. Still, he attends all the practices and plays when he can.”
To support the teams and players from countries where the sport is just developing and encourage local players to join in the excitement of the games, local teams are planning activities for and with some of the teams. The Jets plan to greet Team Switzerland at the airport, rally their players and families to attend their games, and they hope to have a dinner or BBQ with them.
City Lax is planning a variety of activities including viewing a documentary movie with and about the Uganda team, visit practices and meet players from several teams, and they hope to have a pizza party with various teams including Team Iroquois.
Lacrosse is growing so fast it is difficult to find enough fields, coaches and officials, says Rod Allison from City Lax. City Lax has boys and girls teams for grades 3 through 8 and their U13 team will participate in the Festival games.
The Stapleton Jets boys lacrosse league, which has competitive teams as well as “learn-to-play teams,” has players from age 5 to age 14. Two Jets teams, U9 and U11, will be playing in the World Festival games that are being held during the championship games. Stapleton Electras offers lacrosse for girls from ages 5 to 12 and had participants from over 20 schools this year.