(Aug. 14, 2020) Stick checking and crease dodging competitors are inundating multiple fields at Northside Park on 125th Street through Sunday, as the annual Ocean City Lacrosse Classic kicked off action yesterday.
Tournament Director Robert Musitano said despite coronavirus-based restrictions limiting matches to a sole location, participants appeared enthused to face off.
“As the date gets closer people get more excited about it,” he said earlier this week.
Musitano said prior to staging the annual tournament area health officials were consulted regarding appropriate pandemic-related safety measures.
In addition to restricting spectators, team members have to complete a covid checklist to confirm lack of exposure and enable contact tracing if warranted.
Other adaptations include prohibiting spectators and requiring players to exit the field within 15 minutes after games end.
Regardless of other restrictions, this year one team is adding a new wrinkle with a fundraising endeavor to honor the memory of a departed lacrosse compadre.
The Original Greene Turtle is sponsoring a team to fundraise for the Bryan Botti Memorial Foundation.
Original Greene Turtle owner Steve Pappas co-founded the Ocean City Lacrosse Classic with former college roommates Dave Cottle, Billy Packo and Tommy Dickerson.
The team sponsorship was launched by Pappas’ son, Stephen, after being approached by Nick Cloyd, both former teammates of Botti, who died in September 2015 after being struck by an automobile.
In addition to donations from Original Greene Turtle team members, other fundraising efforts include commemorative uniforms available on the Bryan Botti Memorial Foundation website.
The jersey and shorts, available as a set or individually, both include the Botti Memorial Foundation logo patch and team sponsor logo.
The clothing articles are also emblazoned with #23, Botti’s number, which Original Greene Turtle team members will wear during the tournament.
Cloyd said interested parties could obtain their own uniform set online until likely the end of August.
“We can put in orders through the weekend at least,” he said.
Tournament play began yesterday with men’s action at noon, while women start today at 2 p.m.
Games will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information about the Ocean City Lacrosse Classic, visit oclaxclassic.org.
For more information about the Bryan Botti Memorial Foundation, visit bhbmemorial.org.