1787 lacrosse competes in Liberty National Elite Classic

FREDERICA – When it comes to getting noticed by college coaches, national showcase tournaments are often the best way to do so.

Especially when it’s an event in your own backyard and more than 100 college coaches are expected to be in attendance.

Robbie Rickenbach led the team with five goals over the weekend (The Chronicle/Ben Heck).

From Saturday, July 7 to Sunday, July 8, DE Turf in Frederica hosted the Liberty National Elite Classic with over 70 club teams participating from across the United States.

The two-day tournament featured teams from states such as Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, Minnesota and California.

1787 Lacrosse’s 2020 A squad finished the two-day event with a 1-4 record, but program director/head coach Blake Faulkner isn’t worried about wins and losses when it comes to showcase events.

“One of our goals is to make sure the kids are staying in shape and doing something (over the summer), but also the kids we have on this team have aspirations of playing in college and the only way to do that is to come to these tournaments,” he said.

“Very few college coaches will come to a high school game unless it’s a state championship game or something like that, so the best way to get noticed is to do some of these showcase tournaments and that’s why we do what we do. We’re not out here to win the whole thing, but we’re about making sure our kids are at least getting the opportunity to be seen.”

Team 1787 is made up of kids from about six or seven schools across southern Delaware.

“All the kids are friends with each other, so that’s good, even though we have about seven or eight different schools represented. We’ve had as many as 12 represented at one point. It’s a good mesh of kids and they all hang out with each other, so that’s good. It helps bring a little more intrigue, so to speak, when we get to the school season and they start playing against each other.”

With many new faces on this year’s 1787 roster, coach Faulkner says many of the kids didn’t know each other prior to joining the team, but they’ve been able to get to know each other over the last several weeks.

Dylan Auen (Lake Forest) scored three goals over the weekend (The Chronicle/Ben Heck).

“We’ve done a good job over a few weeks of getting to know each other, some of these kids didn’t even really know each other when we first started out but we’re starting to get to know each other a little better,” coach Faulkner said of the team chemistry. “I think a lot of them are getting used to the whole summer travel tournament type of format and how they do things. There are a lot of things that get called in high school ball that don’t get called out here – they kind of let you play a little bit more. You have to almost do something rudely offensive to get a call out here, so I think they’re still getting used to that.”

Faulkner’s squad went 0-3 on Saturday, falling to Team Carolina 2020 (10-3), NJ Riot 2020 Mayhem (7-1) and Rock PA 2020 (9-3).

In two Sunday games, 1787 finished the day 1-1 with a morning loss to NJ Riot (10-2) before finishing the weekend of competition with a 6-5 overtime win over Texas Legacy 2020 in the afternoon.

Robbie Rickenbach led the scoring for 1787, leading the team with five goals over the two days of competition. Dylan Auen contributed three goals, while Aaron Senturk, Sam Slater and Grant Thomas each added two goals. Kade Collins scored one goal.

Baxter Travers, a 2020 Cape High grad, held his ground in goal for Team 1787 throughout the two-day tournament.

The next summer tournament for 1787 is the Warrior Big Kahuna in Frankford, DE July 21-22.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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