Newport Beach’s Team America and Ventura County’s Team West Coast are on their way to Baltimore for the opening of Champ Camp on Wednesday. For Team America — and younger Team America 2 — it’s a return engagement. The Team West Coast club, in its inaugural season, is looking to test itself back East after solid showings in Denver and Sacramento earlier this summer.
Team West Coast is coached by Justin Eaton of West Coast Lacrosse and Steve Lane of Chaminade College Prep. The roster is made up of rising sophomores — Class of 2016, in graduation terms — from Agoura, Chaminade, Granada Hills, Newbury Park, Oak Park, Oaks Christian, Simi Royal, Thousand Oaks and West Ranch high schools.
In June, Team West Coast went 2-3 at the Denver Shootout, losing its opener while playing without five players who had travel issues and didn’t reach the event in time, then losing its finale 6-4 to Apex of Colorado, which it had beaten 11-7 in pool play.
Two weeks ago, West Coast finished runner-up in the High School B division at the Pacific Surf Lacrosse Festival in Sacramento, losing 5-4 to a team of juniors and seniors that it had beaten 6-2 earlier in the tournament.
How they will fare in Baltimore, of course, remains to be seen. West Coast and Team America 2 will play in a new, six-team “Champ Camp Challenge” division with other teams of similar age/grade levels, rather than sticking those rising freshmen and sophomores in against rising seniors and even post-grads on some clubs.
Here’s the schedule for the two Challenge clubs from SoCal (game times converted to Pacific Time):
Team West Coast
- Wed., 3:30 p.m. PT vs. New Jersey Lacrosse Club (Columbus, N.J.)
- Thurs., 8:15 a.m. PT vs. Junior Black Rhinos (Portland, Ore.)
- Thurs., 12:15 p.m. PT vs. Blue Mountain Jr. (Lancaster, Pa.)
- Thurs., 5:45 p.m. PT vs. Team Washington Cohos 2016
Team America 2
- Wed., 1:15 p.m. PT vs. Blue Mountain Jr.
- Thurs., 8:15 a.m. PT vs. Team Washington Cohos 2016
- Thurs., 11 a.m. PT vs. Junior Black Rhinos
- Thurs., 5:45 p.m. PT vs. NJLC
After four pool games, the teams will be seeded for four more games Friday and Saturday. That’s when we could see Team America 2 and West Coast square off — the OC vs. Ventura in suburban Baltimore.
Interestingly, four of the six Challenge entrants are from the West, with Team Washington Cohos 2016 representing the Puget Sound region and the Junior Black Rhinos representing Portland, Ore. Both squads took part in the Tri-State Nationals tournament in Princeton, N.J., last weekend, with Team Washington winning the Sophomore A bracket with a 4-3 win over the Long Island Express Piranhas in the title game. Washington beat the Junior Black Rhinos in the elimination round.
Both Team America rosters are based out of Corona del Mar HS and run by CdM coach G.W. Mix and assistant Andy Chalupa.
Meanwhile, the Team America “varsity” is seeded No. 1 in its pool for the 66-team Champ Camp draw. Here is that squad’s initial schedule:
- Wed., 3:45 p.m. PT vs. Tri-State Silver (New Jersey)
- Thurs., 5:45 a.m. PT vs. Paragon 360 (Jersey Shore)
- Thurs., 9:45 a.m. PT vs. Celtic Cross (Maryland)
- Thurs., 2 p.m. PT vs. HomeGrown Lacrosse (North Andover, Mass.)
We’ll try to keep track of results and post updates, either here or on Twitter: @SouthlandLax.