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Cannons in Hawaii

11/4/10 12:00 AM

Cannons in Hawaii


The Hawaii Lacrosse 20th Anniversary Invitational Tournament took place last weekend, and Cannons Paul Rabil and Justin Smith were lucky enough to be invited to play with Wimmer Solutions, a team based in Seattle that’s put together just for this tournament and is a contender every year in the Elite division. In addition to Rabil and Smith, the roster is filled out with more stars and legends of the game, including Gary Gait, Ryan Powell, Anthony Kelly and Brett Queener. They are pretty amazing to watch.

Rabil and Smith on the field.

Smith taking a shot in the semi-final win. Fans couldn't miss his chrome helmet, especially in the Hawaii sun.

The Men’s Elite championship game is always a spectacle, as the Kapiolani Park field in Waikiki is taken over by the top players in the game. Rabil, Smith and Wimmer Solutions took their third trophy in tournament history by defeating the Crease Monkeys, 14-5. Goalie Brett Queener was named most valuable player in the game for limiting the offensive output of guys like John Grant Jr, Mike Leveille and Jordan Hall.

After the championship game, the players were surrounded by fans asking for autographs and pictures. The Hawaii tournament brings in a bunch of teams from Japan, where the sport is really growing, and those guys LOVE watching the pros play. Then each member of the winning team gets a lei, as is tradition in Hawaii.

Members of the Hawaii Wahine (women's) team, with flower leis to give to the champions.

Adding to the mix this year, the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team, which came together in competition for the first time since 2006 after being unable to compete in the FIL Lacrosse World Championship last June in Manchester, England, headlined a special exhibition game on Saturday nightagainst a mix of some of the best players in the world and also competed in the men’s elite division. They tied the World team in the exhibition, and lost 12-5 to the Crease Monkeys in the semi-final round.

Of course, the off-field events and activities are almost as important as the games. When you’re in Hawaii, you have to take advantage of the surroundings. Hiking Diamond Head crater is almost a prerequisite, and getting in some beach time, which is easy because it’s across the street from the field. Finally, the tournament wrap party is always a Halloween costumer party, and players don’t hold back trying to have the best costume.

Smith was on a soccer team with a bunch of other Wimmer players, including Stephen Berger as the goalie.

 

Is that Max Seilbald, or the Hulk?



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