(Aug. 9, 2019) The 27th annual Ocean City Lacrosse Classic kicked off on Thursday, Aug. 8, and will continue throughout this weekend in both Berlin and Ocean City.

The men’s and women’s lacrosse tournaments are taking place at the Northern Worcester County Athletic Complex off Route 113 in Berlin, and at Northside Park on 125th Street in Ocean City.

“It was started by Steve Pappas, owner of the Original Greene Turtle in Ocean City, and his college roommates, Dave Cottle, who coaches the Chesapeake Bay Hawks (a semi-professional lacrosse team), Billy Packo and Tommy Dickerson,” Tournament Director Robert Musitano said.

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The tournaments will take place in Northside Park on 125th Street and Worcester County Athletic Complex off Route 113 this weekend.

The four-day tournament is comprised of 65 teams this year and nine divisions. Each team will play a minimum of four games and only play two games a day.

“The reason we do that, is so they can go to the golf course and take the kids to the amusement parks,” Musitano said. “They know when the games are; the schedule is rigid. Everybody gets the opportunity play and also enjoy the beach.”

The 32 Men’s Elite (18 and older), is split into two categories, Elite A (four teams) and Elite B (28 teams); six Trident (27 and older); six Master’s (35 and older) crews; seven Supermaster’s squads (35 and older); and five Men’s King Neptune (50 and older) teams will compete.

Returning this year as well will be the wheelchair division, all thanks to Papas, Musitano said. He had a big fundraiser last week. The wheelchair teams were unable to participate last year because they had a national championship tournament in Denver.

“Steve Papas helped immensely with the wheelchair guys,” he said. “He went to bat for us and got us a grant because these guys are coming from a long distance and it’s a team [coming] from Buffalo one from Richmond and one coming from Baltimore, but these guys come a long distance if they have to fly … they need two chairs.

“One is their regular chair and the other is their sport chair,” he continued.

Games will take place in both locations, today, Aug. 9, and Saturday, Aug. 10, with play beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing into the evening.

The 11 Women’s Elite (18 and older), and four Master’s (27 and older), divisions will compete today, Aug. 10, and Saturday, Aug. 11, at Northside Park beginning at noon.

Championship games will be played Sunday, Aug. 12, at Northside Park. Men will compete from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Women will finish out the tournament from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday.

“We’ve had some of the best college players,” Musitano said. “We’ve had some of the best pros … we’ve had some of the big names in lacrosse.

“Joe Walters [a professional lacrosse player for the Redwoods Lacrosse Club] was here one year,” he continued. “Gary Gates, who’s actually the coach of Syracuse’s women’s team, is here and he was here at the beginning, 27 years ago. It’s a fun tournament. That’s what we kind of promote it as ... a destination tournament where people come in and bring their families and watch the games.”

Participants play for fun and mostly for bragging rights, as most participants cannot accept money if they are college players.

For more information about the Classic, or for a schedule of games, visit www.OCLaxClassic.org.

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