We’re just a day away from the gold-medal game at the 32nd annual Empire State Games in Buffalo and we’re headed for what could be a classic rematch if the two teams who battled it out in yesterday’s nightcap meet again for the championship.

Central pulled out a dramatic 8-7 overtime win over four-time defending champion Long Island on a goal by Carthage High School’s Thomas Grimm.

Central is now the lone unbeaten team of the six regions competing at the Games. Long Island is 3-1. Hudson Valley is 1-3.

The gold-medal game is set for Sunday at 11 a.m. at Canisius College. Long Island can clinch a rematch against Central by winning its game today, against New York City. Even if Central drops its game today — against Hudson Valley — it has clinched a spot in the gold-medal game.

The bronze-medal game is set for 9 a.m. on Sunday at Canisius.

Before we get to today’s slate, let’s take a look at yesterday’s Day 2 scores:

Hudson Valley 5, New York City 2
Long Island 12, Adirondack 4
Central 12, Western 4
Adirondack 10, New York City 3
Western 10, Hudson Valley 7
Central 8, Long Island 7, OT

For recaps and stats of these games, click here.

Here are the standings:

Central 4-0
Long Island 3-1
Western 2-2
Adirondack 2-2
Hudson Valley 1-3
New York City 0-4

Now, to today’s schedule, with the games at Canisius:

Western vs. Adirondack, 3 p.m.
Long Island vs. New York City, 5 p.m.
Hudson Valley vs. Central, 7 p.m.

You can get live updates on all of today’s three scholastic men’s lax contests by clicking here. For the direct link to the gameday blog updating all the lax action, click here.

Also folks, be sure, as always, to weight in with any info/scores if you’re on hand for the action.

For a look at the complete schedule of games, click here.

To check out team rosters for all six regions, including Long Island and Hudson Valley, click here.

Also of note, the 21st annual Champ Camp is under way in Baltimore. It features teams from 21 states. For the complete schedule, click here.

Just as the Empire State Games end on Sunday, another showcase event will be starting. It marks the unofficial end of the live July evaluation period for Division I college programs.

It’s the Battle of the Hotbeds at the University of Delaware, and it  ends on Wednesday.

For a look at the complete Hotbeds schedule, click here.

Recruiting coverage

• Recruiting review and commitment rundown

• Recruit profile archive

• To get your profile up, click here.

Posted In: Empire State Games

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40 Responses to “It’s Day 3 of ESG”

  1. HV Lax says:

    Matt Landis from Pelham has been attracting lots of attention at Emps. Good speed, very rangy and athletic. His selection to the team speaks to the fact that if you have the talent you will make the team. Period.

  2. Lax Novice says:

    From Champ Camp:

    Team Superstar Blue 7 – Belax 8
    Team Superstar White 2 – Red and Black Elite 5

  3. slacrosse says:

    Agree about Landis. Goes out deep to challenge and is like fly paper on his guy. Very quick feet, good balance. Great for the kid and Pelham.

  4. Lax n stuff says:

    Western 8, Adirondack 1 (final)
    LI 13, NYC 3 (4th qtr)
    HV vs. Central — start time delayed till around 7:40 bc lightning delayed 2nd game

  5. Valley Lax says:

    HV came out strong and it was 3-3 after 1. But Central went on a 5-0 run in the 2nd and leads 8-3 at the half.

  6. Laximus says:

    Now that it’s almost all said and done for HV, I guess the main question is not who wasn’t selected (doubt any guys who were cut, nearly all from non sectional contending teams, could have made much of a dent in the record) but why did standout players from the top 3-4 programs decide not to try out??

    Imagine if this team had the two jr AA’s in Section 1 – Daniello and Prunty? Imagine if they had Schuldt and Mabus from Yorktown? Walter from John Jay? That’s a core group of star players that would have made a huge difference. Daniello is not playing at Hotbeds so that his minutes could go to an uncommitted player. A nice gesture. But what does HV have to do to make playing in Empires something a star committed player like Daniello would want to do? He’s the #4 junior in the country. He would have made a huge difference as would have the other players mentioned.

    Maybe the ESG team should play in the weekend tournaments like UMass and Hofstra so that it’s just like being on a travel team plus the actual ESG Games? What are your thoughts?

  7. Observer Lax says:

    Your suggestion to have the ESG team play in the big weekend travel team showcases is a great one. That could help. But as someone else pointed out the fact that best players commit after their soph years gives them no incentive to showcase their skills and improve over the summer. If that NCAA rule changes and players can’t commit till the summer before their senior year, that could help too.

    What’s sad is that Hudson Valley may not be at Long Island’s level, but it’s not that far away if all the players who could have played did.

  8. Pequa says:

    Let’s go LI. Make it 5 in a row boysss

  9. Lax n stuff says:

    Final was 16-7 Central over HV. HV finishes ESG with a 1-4 record.

  10. Laximus says:

    Don’t mean to nitpick Laximus but he was #9 on IL…Jimmy Bitter was #4.

  11. Lax Novice says:

    My thinking is that it’s likely that every ESG team had guys from their region missing, not just Hudson Valley. So thinking that if this guy or that guy had played you’d have done better ignores the fact that LI, Central and everybody else could say the same thing.

    I think the results speak for themselves, there’s a number of top-flight players in Sections 1 and 9. Just not as many as there are in other areas.

  12. Laxer Lax says:

    How about all players selected as AA are guaranteed to make the team and all those who made all section going into their senior year are guaranteed being in the final cut to eliminate the politics and then the ESG team plays in all the showcase tournaments the travel teams play in now?

  13. just leave it says:

    How about just leaving it alone and letting the thing be whatever it will be?

    Sometimes they’re good sometimes they’re bad. Last year they were pretty good this year they were pretty bad. Has the Earth stopped turning?

  14. P&G says:

    So the ESG kids got so many quality look based on the fact that they only beat NYC by 3? How many new D1 commits will HV get out of this showing? Zero? One?

    Gentlemen, check the archives – I’m on record for predicting this. Not gloating…The ESG’s are just an old format. The world has moved on – deal with it.

    If the HV doesn’t take their best 20 – no medal….Did you really need to go through this to realize they would not medal. We are not as deep as other regions. Go big or go home….don’t blame the Rye kids – they were the martyrs.

    OK, here’s the thought pattern… You are a rising senior – you get an invite and/or make the Superstar, Primetime, Ballers, and/or Westrock teams. Bird in the hand. You take it. 4 events, you will get seen. Contrary to the ESG option, if you make it – with the politics, etc. You sign up and you give a deposit. And you have a better experience than ESG’S. Prove me wrong if you disagree.

    And what outstanding rising SENIOR, goes out for ESG next year – based on this years experience?

    I said this before, the 4 teams mentioned above would either beat or play very tight the ESG team.

    This isn’t necessarily better – but its the present and the future…Accept it.

  15. green alum says:

    Ok–ESG is over and its NOW time to get a grip on it for next year. It is up to the Section One coaches to step up, and create a fair, transparent system of picking coaches and then players. The notion that it can never come back and will never be as good as other teams is BS. If we create a team that is truly an elite team, then it will get the recognition it needs and the kids will benefit not only from a good lax experience but from getting looks. The LI kids still cherish being on their ESG team–we can do this if we want to.

  16. Playland says:

    Hopefully Rye will put together their own travel team so someone else can take the blame. Good luck HV.

  17. Scooter says:

    The lack of a good face-off guy really killed the HV team. Where was monteferante?

  18. justlaxin says:

    Hope things can get fixed. If a yorktown teamn can beat the NYC team 8 4 and HV can’t do better, there is an issue. That was a team without 3 or 4 starters as well. Things need to be changed. Could have easily medaled. No disrespect but that is from D1 coachwes who I talked to there. With prunty, daniello, walter, lambert, fahey, mabo and schuldt….this team medals. New regime would be nice.

  19. Laxin says:

    Bottom line is it used to be most players were uncommitted going into their senior year AND travel teams really didn’t even exist in the Hudson Valley (until 5 years ago or so). It will never go back to being the old Empires. Just a fact.

  20. HV says:

    Why should anybody be guaranteed a spot just because they are AA. A lot of us think that the kids who get picked as AA get the same prejudice from their coaches and that the best kids are not necessarily picked for that either.

  21. slacrosse says:

    Here’s to the HV kids that busted their butts to try and do their best and left it all on the field each game!! Good luck to all the kids as they move into other sports this Fall and lax next season.

    I’ve never defended the present selection system which clearly needs to be improved. My only issue was when certain negative attacks took place on the specific kids, groups that the present system selected which I thought was unfair: these kids didn’t select themselves.

    AGREE with “green alum” and ALL above who feel the system needs to be changed/improved to attract all eligible Section 1 kids to try out. I hope that this will come about.

  22. slacrosse says:

    Just to be sure, my above comment about putting in place a better, more transparent selection system in no way implies that I have any questions, misgivings about the kids selected. Also not implying that any of the HV players would have made or not made the team with all Section 1 kids trying out. I’ve never been in to saying who should or shouldn’t be on the team. Only that I had wished that “all” had tried out.

    Again, improve the system, get as many kids as possible to try out and let the chips fall where they may in terms of selections.

  23. green alum says:

    slacrosse: exactly. Cannot argue the picks and to do so would be a disservice to every kid who tried out. But the fact that we can all name 7-8 players who did not tryout who would have made a difference is the issue that needs to be addressed. Lets hope this gets resolved in the off-season. Good first .test for Pres. Kuszma.

  24. slacrosse says:

    green alum

    A guy at the games from LI was complaining that 500-600 kids try out with selections ending up predominantly from AA and 160 All-Section kids so why not be realistic and only try-out this group and save the other 300-400 kids the hassle, disappointment, etc?

    As someone mentioned above or on another blog, think AA age eligible kids should be automatic . Think everyone agrees for the most part about the AA picks (yeah, always will be some controversy). Maybe try-out group should include All-Section kids + coaches get to nominate x number of kids to try-out.

    Also thought idea mentioned of “independent” evaluators coming in to help and/or make the final selections may make sense? Maybe a college coach or even a CT high school coach?

    Just throwing this out for thought. No system is gonna be 100% perfect.

  25. SirLaxalot says:

    slacrosse –

    That’s how it should be. Maybe retired college coaches or HS coaches from another region? You obviously couldn’t have current college coaches select the team as I’m sure that would violate NCAA rules or at the least be a conflict of some sort. Another idea… Inside Lacrosse selected the 40 players who competed in the Under Armour game the announcers said on ESPNU. The teams were very even and it was a great game. Maybe having a neutral, unbiased media member select? Obviously in this region the only person with that kind of knowledge and neutrality would be Joe. Not to put him on the spot but I’m sure it would result in the best possible team. Question – would the players see fit to play on the team or would they still opt out? That to me is the biggest issue.

  26. P&G says:


    All good ideas – but my opinion is that the players will not come. Especially after this year.

    They are going to find themselves situations that benefit them. A new selection process,new coaches, is not going to change this.

    Many have fond memories of drive in movie theaters. They are not coming back.

  27. Until next season, farewell . . . says:

    Eligible AA and All-Section athletes have already been judged by the region to be the best over an entire season (perhaps up to this point in their HS career even, a much better portent of ability than a tryout over 2 weeks) so of course should be offered a spot (up to them and their parents and their situation) – then try outs for invited Honorable Mentions, Academics AAs, and regional all star selections and credible websites (laxlessons, etc), maybe all star selections from top showcases early in the season, maybe eligible team captains – there should be a State-wide standard mandated by ESG. If those kids can’t fill the team for whatever reason, and it is up to them -committed, travel team preference, parents input,it is their decision – then tryouts for remaining positions available by what criteria and by what evaluation? That is the crux of the biscuit (who can name that reference??) That said, the talent pool and psychotic intensity on LI is over the top from my view.
    The HV team had a better time and experience than any of us on this blog can imagine. In spite of the record, to a man, they were the picture of class and athleticism all the way. And Mookie was on the bus!!

  28. Lax Novice says:

    I think HV should just declare Garden City, Manhasset and West Islip to be part of the Hudson Valley and that would solve most of the problem, if it can be described as a problem. I think the results of the ESG is a fair representation of the breath of the quality of HS lacrosse across the state currently, just as it was in the late 80’s and early 90’s when Hudson Valley won titles. That may not satisfy the “we should have better guys while the other teams stay the same” crowd, but I don’t know what other conclusion you can draw from the actual results.

    I’d be interested to know after the one-year hiatus just how well attended the Games were by the college coaches, compared to 2008 and prior years.

  29. NewEra says:

    If kids see that Dave Marr and the ytown coaching staff are the coaches for the HV Empire team I think it would look a bit more attractice…Marr won a gold medal as a player and his coaching resume speaks for itself, why is he not the coach?

  30. Green White says:

    He coaches a summer team like most HS coaches so that’s why there aren’t many volunteers for Emps.

  31. sec445 says:

    I agree that the HV squad would be better off with coaches such as the Yorktown Staff. Dave Marr obviously knows everything there is to know about the game and Im sure he would be able to implement a new style to get HV some hardware!

  32. just a thought says:

    why not bring in some local collage coaches,We Have a coach who won 2 championships i a row right here in weststchester,he couldbring in his asstaint,also manhatanville coach,also asst at army westchester guys.

  33. pysc8394 says:

    Ytown coaching staff is as good (if not better) than some of our local college teams, time for them to take the reigns over and represent HV

  34. Gonzo says:

    After reading all the back and forth on the ESG, here are a couple of thoughts

    –for all the hand wringing over the absence of some of the best players from Westchester on the ESG HV team, don’t think that other regions didn’t face similar problems. In particular, I understand 2-3 of the best long poles from the Island did not participate either. And don’t think politics don’t come into play everywhere. One coach from the Island told me that unless a kid’s high school coach is in some way involved in the ESG process, it is very difficult to be selected to the LI team.

    –and for all the complaints about HV kids who chose not to play in the ESG were disloyal (or whatever else), think about the kids on higher level travel teams who had some of their best players not participate at Champ Camp or Hot Beds because of the ESG. Kids work their butt off through the searing heat of the summer only to see college coach interest in following their team dissipate when they cannot field as competitive a team as they otherwise would have. I am not in any way criticizing any decision that any kid made. I only bring this up as a counterpoint to the criticism that has sometimes been leveled at the kids who chose to stay with their travel teams rather than do the ESGs. There are many sides to this.

  35. P&G says:

    Pysc – Yorktown staff is more than qualified, but I doubt they are interested as they do their own thing in the summer (ballers). And would that attract the Jay/Somers/Lakeland kids? – I don’t think so.

    Only one name that comes to mind that might unify the region is Tim Schurr. Has a history at YTown and Somers – and present coach at Jay. Not sure if he’d do it, and could even pull it off on getting the best kids. He’s a great on the field guy, not sure even he would/could deal with the off the field politics with this.

    Gonzo, An area like Long Island can deal with exceptional kids not trying out. Go and look at the Long Island Under Armour team – it’s like they can field multiple exceptional regional teams. The Hudson Valley is no way like that. The reality is that we have 4-5 High Schools that can compete with Long Island teams (and have not fared well in the state playoffs of late). If you don’t get the best from those schools – there is no depth to make up for that.

    Interesting reverse point on Summer teams missing kids to the ESG, and that results in a less than “elite” team. Not the issue with Prime Time – I wonder if Janavey/Colsey try to influence that somehow going forward. Difficult situation. I know the parents of the empire kids are proud and have described a great experience, etc. – But did those kids get good looks? I think the honest assessment of that for an average kid on that team is NO. You can’t go 1-4, and get great looks…That means kids on other teams are outperforming you. I understand individual performances carry the day – but collectively the individual performes were not even “par”.

  36. HV Laxer says:

    I think the NCAA rule is college coaches can coach in events held on their own campus but they certainly can’t coach a team of uncommitted players on a regional all star team like ESG. So that’s obviously out. Plus they’re college coaches – they’re all out checking on recruits in July. They wouldn’t have time for it.

  37. slacrosse says:

    HV Laxer

    How bout an MLL player or an Asst Coach from MLL who is in the area. A Canadian coach or player?? A grad who played at a top D1/D2/D3 team?

    Hey just throwing this stuff out there.

  38. lax-for-life says:


    Very good point about HV kids getting looks. However, HV players did benefit from college coaches seeing them go against a very high level of competition, especially when they played Long Island and Central. No question the coaches (and there were many) were there to see those LI and Central players not yet committed, but for HV players that had solid games, it was a big plus.

  39. green alum says:

    slacrosse: I hear you. It would make sense to take the AAs since we would all like all of the coaches to be involved in the selection process(though they is not realistic) but taking the AAs is sorta the same thing. Some great ideas being posted.. I still like the idea of the coaching staff having the final say on who is taken.

    As to coaches, there are more than enough qualified people who are coaching and who could be coaching that could take the job and do it well.

  40. JJ alum 99 says:

    I say bring the Sav’s in to coach Empires. They would have no agendas coaching at kennedy and with all the big time games they have won they would attract kids to come back out for empires. The biggest thing is the connections they have with the college coaches.

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