Lake Placid Lacrosse – Team Steak

Team Steak Continues Tradition of New England’s Best at the Summit Classic

Team Steak, organized by Matt Rowley from Boston, Mass., has become a Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Classic tradition in bringing many of the best college-aged players from New England to the tournament each summer. Started six years ago with members of the New England Select Lacrosse League (also known as NESLL), the team has blossomed into a powerhouse in the men’s Open 1 division, which is considered one of the summer’s most competitive tournaments. ”I was coaching for NESLL, and we had a solid group of kids,” Rowley said. “We were at Champ Camp, myself and my assistant coach Ben Courchesne who coaches at Roxbury Latin, and we were just messing around and ‘Team Steak’ came up. We thought pink and brown would be pretty cool colors, and it just sounded ludicrous enough to be worthwhile and funny, so we kind of ran with it from there.”  What began as a humorous concept has materialized into one of the best men’s Open division teams each year at the Summit Classic — a squad donning pink and brown uniforms featuring the team logo, a medium-rare steak, along with vegetables and shrimp on the side. Some of the players from that successful NESSL squad, Rowley said, helped to form the backbone of Team Steak. Those players have since made the leap from high school to play lacrosse in college, many of them at the very highest levels. The Team Steak roster features the likes of Drew Philie (Deerfield/Vermont), Connor McNamara (Brewster/Vermont) and Josh Dionne (Avon Old Farms), who helped the Duke Blue Devils win the 2013 NCAA Division I championship in May.  ”It’s grown, and we’ve added some players, and we lost a guy like Davis Butts (Loyola) to the MLL. But the core of Team Steak is really made up of guys from that NESSL team, who were all rising seniors at that point. The core guys kind of live for this weekend. The reason I knew this would work was because those guys played so hard for each other, which is rare for club guys to care about one another the way they did. So they get pretty excited to come back to play with each other each summer.” Before joining 3d Lacrosse, Rowley coached for four years at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire and was later an assistant coach with the Toronto Beaches Junior A box lacrosse team in Ontario. He said the annual trip to Lake Placid helps reinforce why he got into coaching lacrosse to begin with. ”In many ways it’s a reminder of why I do all the stuff I do in the summer to see these guys, some of them two years out of college now and still want to play, to see where they are in their lives and that they still have that excitement for the game. It’s a reminder for me of the impact we can have as club coaches and as mentors of kids down the line.”