Big day of lacrosse coming to Bend

By Bill Bigelow / The Bulletin


Published Apr 3, 2013 at 05:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

A full day of lacrosse, including competition and instruction and featuring a game between two men's collegiate teams, is set for this Saturday in Bend.

Bend Spring LaxFest 2013 will take place at Summit High School, and the event kicks off at 7:30 a.m. with a junior varsity clinic presented by coaches with the University of Idaho. The 90-minute clinic is free and is open to all boys of high school age.

At 9:30 a.m., the first of two high school boys varsity games on the LaxFest schedule will pit Summit against Sheldon of Eugene.

The showcase event of the day is set to start at 1 p.m. when the University of Oregon and University of Idaho men's club teams face off. Both teams are members of the Men's College Lacrosse Association, a national organization of more than 200 non-NCAA college lacrosse programs. Both Oregon and Idaho play in the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League, the Ducks in the South Division and the Vandals in the North.

Oregon, PNCLL champion each of the past three seasons, brings a 7-4 season record into Saturday's game; Idaho is 3-6.

“Oregon is a super-legit team,” says Jeff Melville, boys lacrosse coach at Summit and event coordinator for LaxFest. “They're really very good.”

Among the Vandals expected to be playing Saturday is 2011 Bend High graduate Colton Raichl, a sophomore attacker who has 26 goals and five assists so far this season for a team-high 31 points.

Admission for the college match is $1 for youth, $2 for high school students and $5 for adults. Admission will be charged starting at halftime of the Summit-Sheldon game, and a single admission will be good for games the rest of the day.

Melville notes that this is the fourth consecutive year that local high school programs have been able to host a college-level game on the artificial-surface field at Summit.

Bringing college lacrosse to Central Oregon is important, according to Melville.

“It shows these (local) kids that there's an opportunity to play lacrosse beyond the high school level,” he says.

Following the college match will be a clinic for boys in grades one through eight, presented by University of Oregon players. This clinic, set to run from 3:30 to 5 p.m., costs $20 per player. Participants can sign up at the event or in advance at Bend Lax Shack, 626 N.W. Arizona Ave.

Concluding the LaxFest schedule will be a varsity contest between Bend and Mountain View high schools starting at 5:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the lacrosse programs at Summit, Bend and Mountain View high schools.

“This is a great collaborative effort between the three Bend high schools,” Melville says. “We want to build some camaraderie among our teams, the local lacrosse community, and the kids.”

LaxFest 2013

What: Day of lacrosse games and clinics in Bend.

Where: Summit High School

When: Saturday, starting at 7:30 a.m.