MILLBURN, NJ - Over Memorial Day Weekend, The Millburn Youth Lacrosse Teams had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural town lacrosse festival.
The festival spanned grades ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade and was held on the field at Millburn High School. And the idea for the one-day celebration of youth lacrosse in town came from within the organization.
For the past few years, fifth-grade boys' coach Jonathan Justice had run an intrasquad scrimmage which he called the blue-and-white fun game. It was received well and the players enjoyed it.
Early this year, several coaches were talking amongst themselves, and the plan was hatched to expand the celebration to all youth grades. Plus, lacrosse is not the only sport with a youth festival. Millburn/Short Hills Youth Baseball has a family day, based around the same concept, which the group believed would transfer over to lacrosse.
From there, it took over four months of planning to bring the idea to life. One key person in the development of the day was Charlie Dwyer. Dwyer is the eighth-grade boys' coach and head of youth lacrosse.
According to fourth-grade boys' coach Scott Redler, Dwyer was influential in reaching out to the Millburn BOE to secure the field, and also helped with permits, insurance and activities at the event.
There was a packed but enjoyable schedule for all involved, as children and their parents were amused with games. Pizza & ice cream were made available to eat, and or getting soaked in the Dunk tank. Music played all day as kids and parents enjoyed the camaraderie of a community event.
Along with the fun and games of the day, the event was capped off with a competitive exhibition match that included members of the girls' teams from fifth through eighth grade.
The girls' program at the high school, which feeds from the youth program, was recently in the news when two of its sophomore players both hit the 100-goal mark.