The sweet sound of whistles and ricocheting lacrosse balls again echoed throughout Tri-County Sports Complex in Macedon, NY. On October 19, Roots Box Lacrosse opened its third season of the Roots Youth Box Lacrosse League (YBLL), powered by the Rochester Knighthawks.
“I am extremely excited for another year of growing the box game in Rochester,” said Roots Box Lacrosse Founder and Program Director Brad Gillies. “Our coaching staff is top-notch, and each year the player development gets better and better. I can’t wait for more kids to experience box lacrosse and fall in love with the sport.”
Roots’ YBLL is Rochester’s premier youth box lacrosse league. The eight-week league offers a unique experience with a strong focus on teaching the fundamentals of the box games as well as offering game experience. The USBOXLA certified referees promote a safe box environment; that way, the sport’s skills are on full display.
The league features Rochester’s best box lacrosse coaches with current and former NLL players and other box lacrosse experts. The roster of coaches includes current NLL players Brad Gilles (Halifax Thunderbirds), Mike Manley (Rochester Knighthawks), Jake Pulver (New York Riptide/Philadelphia Wings) and Bradley Voigt (Colorado Mammoth).
They are joined by past Knighthawks players Pat Cougevan, Scott Ditzell and Ron Cogan. Kids will also learn from former indoor pros and coaching veterans Jacques Monte and Cory Holbrough. Former Team USA box player Donny Moss returns to the YBLL, as well.
WATCH: THIRD SEASON OF ROOTS YOUTH LEAGUE IN FULL SWING
For Manley, who grew up in nearby Penn Yan, it’s a chance to pass along his box game knowledge. It’s also a homecoming for the defenseman who is again playing for his hometown team this upcoming season.
“I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to give back to the game I love,” he said. “I was fortunate to have a box in Penn Yan and play indoor growing up. This is a great opportunity for these young student-athletes to learn from a very knowledgeable and experienced coaching staff.”
This year, the league has expanded from three to four divisions to create a competitive balance. On opening night, kids from Greece to Syracuse to Onondaga Nation competed on the two-rink facility, learning and honing their box lacrosse skills.
“The Roots Box League has given lacrosse players in Rochester an incredible opportunity,” said Voigt, who grew up in Penn Yan. “Playing box lacrosse will only make players better, and it’s awesome to see how many kids in the area are willing to try something new. The Roots Box League is a game-changer for these young kids. Brad has done a tremendous job putting this (league) together over the years and truly caring about making the kids better.”
For more information on the Roots Youth Box Lacrosse League, go online to www.rootsboxlacrosse.com.