The John Pepper/Wildcat Invitational Lacrosse Tournaments are almost here!

The 4th annual John Pepper Wildcat Invitational for high school varsity teams and the 6th annual John Pepper Lacrosse Tournament for 14 year olds and under will take place on Saturday, August 4th and Sunday, August 5th respectively.

As in previous years, this years tournaments will be "THE PLACE" to be if you are a lacrosse fan! No one will want to miss out on the excitement the John Pepper Tournaments are known for each year.

The mission of both tournaments is to bring together, athletes, officials, parents and fans to enjoy the "Creators Gift" of lacrosse. Sportsmanship, respect of the game and camaraderie of all involved are of the highest priority. The John Pepper Tournaments exemplify these goals and because of these goals, these tournaments will continue to be the "premier" lacrosse tournaments of the summer tournament season.

As all previous tournaments, the John Pepper games will be held at the West Genesee Athletic Clubs, Rick Fresina Fields on Pottery Road in Camillus. The venue offers clear view of all the fields as they are all centrally located for easy viewing. On Saturday, August 4th, the John Pepper Wildcat Invitational brings high caliber lacrosse teams to Camillus. This years participants are no exception. In addition, for the first time, a team from Georgia will be participating, which proves the game of lacrosse is not just a Northeastern sport but is truly spreading as the fastest growing sport in the US. The John Pepper Wildcat Invitational also attracts college coaches from all divisions. At the 2006 games, head Coaches from the 2006 NCAA championship teams, Virginia, LeMoyne and Cortland State as well as NJCAA Champion Onondaga Community College were in attendance to scout for the next potential recruit. Additionally, coaches from Division I schools, Syracuse, Princeton, Cornell, Army, Colgate, Delaware, Air Force, Vermont, Navy, Hofstra, Fairfield, Hobart, Siena, Mt. St. Mary's, and Providence have witnessed the John Pepper Wildcat Invitational.   From the Division II level, Bryant, Limestone and Mercyhurst have had coaches in the stands. And in Division III, Nazareth, Washington & Lee, Ithaca, St. John Fisher, Cazenovia, Union and RPI have been in attendance. A very impressive group of coaches indeed. The John Pepper Wildcat Invitational is most unique in that the teams are made of players who play for the actual schools they represent, not all-star teams made up of players from many different schools. This is a prelude to what the teams will be like next spring. This year's tournament field is as follows:

The Teams

Carthage Comets: 18-2 2007 record: Section 3 Class B perennial powerhouse. Each year a contender for the Section 3 title and 2008 will be no exception.

Timon St. Jude Tigers: 9-10 2007 record: The first appearance for the Tigers in the John Pepper Wildcat Invitational. While 2007 was a down year for the Tigers, the team was young and expectations are for a very successful 2008 season.

Penn Yan Mustangs: 16-7 2007 record: The Mustangs are a strong program from Section 5 who will bring the tenacity to the tournament to win it all.

Baldwinsville Bees: 16-5 2007 record: which includes 3 losses to the West Genny team. The Bees have been to the tournament each year and will again try to bring home the championship to B’ville.

Christian Brothers Academy: 21-2 2007 record: Though the NYS championship eluded them, the Brothers are riding high for the 2008 season and expectations will again be a NYS Championship.

Skaneateles Lakers:15-6 2007 record: A Section 3 perennial winner who has been in the tournament each year.

LaFayette Lancers: 16-4 2007 record: Though a down year in Lancer terms, the LaFayette boys will again be ready to tackle the challenge of the John Pepper Wildcat field.

New Hartford Spartans: 10-8 2007 record: Another first year team that each year progressively gets better. The Spartans will try to show the field that they deserve to be playing against the best.

Watertown IHC Cavaliers: 15-6 2007 record: The Cavaliers have become a perennial winner and show no signs of stopping. Expect a hard fought game when they are the opponents.

Fayetteville-Manlius Hornets: 14-5 2007 record: A disappointing season by Hornet standards which they will be looking to avenge. The Hornets are a team that on any given day can beat the best opposition.

Canandaigua Braves: 17-3 2007 record: The Braves are a Section 5 dynasty which churns out lacrosse players year in and out. The Braves will be seeking their first Invitational title as they have played every tournament since its inception.

Penfield Patriots: 9-8 2007 record: The Patriots are an up and coming Rochester area team who are attending their first John Pepper Wildcat Invitational with high expectations.

Yarmouth Clippers (ME): 13-3 2007 record: The 2006 Maine Champions lost in the 2007 title game. The Clippers have been a team to reckon with at each Invitational they have appeared and this year will be no exception.

Atlanta Regional (GA), : The John Pepper Wildcat Invitational is proud to announce its first team from outside the traditional lacrosse area. This Atlanta team is made up of players from the Atlanta area who yearn to play among the elite and to show them that lacrosse is truly the fastest growing sport in the USA. We are proud to have them and look forward to their play.

West Genesee : 22-1 2007 record: The premier lacrosse program in New York and perhaps the USA and the host team will have 2 teams in the tourney.

Games will start at 9:00 am and continue in a round robin, winner advances, and loser goes to the loser bracket, until there are 2 teams undefeated playing for the title. We again expect many exciting games and plays this year as we have had in the past.

John Pepper Tournament

The John Pepper Tournament for 14 years olds and under consists of 3 levels of future stars, There are 3 levels of play, 14 & under, 12 & under and 10 & under playing.

The John Pepper Tournament each year brings the best lacrosse can offer.

Last year we were proud to host the NCAA Champions in Division 2, LeMoyne , the Division 3 Cortland State and the NJCAA Champions, OCC to bring their trophies and sign some autographs for the fans at the tournament. We will again host LeMoyne and OCC along with their National Championship trophies and players to sign autographs.

In addition former All-Americans Joe Walters and Kyle Harrison will be offering a clinic for the young lacrosse players.

Joe Walters hails from the Rochester area and played his collegiate career at Maryland. His accolades include:
Maryland's All-Time Leader in Points (227) and Goals (153)
2006 US National Team Member
2006 Jack Turnbull Memorial Award Winner
2006 Tewaaraton Trophy Finalist
#1 overall pick in the MLL draft in 2006
Currently plays for the Rochester Rattlers

Kyle Harrison hails from Baltimore, MD and played his college ball at Johns Hopkins. His honors include:
2006 US National Team Member
Tewaaraton Trophy winner (2005)
USILA Player of the Year (2005)
National Midfielder of the Year (2004, '05)
1st Team All-American (2004, '05)
2nd Team All-American (2003)
Kyle currently plays for the New Jersey Pride

Rochester Rattler Head Coach BJ O’Hara (a West Genesee grad) will also be a part of this clinic and offer his years of insight of lacrosse.

At the same time Tom Abbott, a local referee who has officiated in the NCAA Finals as well as the World Championships will offer a clinic on the "Rules of Lacrosse" for those unfamiliar with the game.

One final thing to mention, the John Pepper Committee has included in its silent auction a “legendary” number 22 Syracuse jersey with the following autographs: Michael Powell, Casey Powell, Ryan Powell, Gary Gait and Charlie Lockwood who all adorned the legendary number “22”. A unique collectors item for not only Syracuse fans but also any lacrosse fan.

The John Pepper Committee strives to make these tournaments the very finest in the country. We hope everyone will feel the same way before, during and after the games are over. We want everyone from players to parents to officials to fans, to walk away anticipating next years game.

For more information contact:
Michael Solamon 315-487-0083