Friday marked the start of the 11th annual Baldwinsville Star-Spangled Girls Lacrosse Tournament, a weekend-long festival and showcase for the area's top talent.
The weather wasn't perfect, as it was hot and humid, but they got finished before the rains hit.
And even the humidity didn't put a damper on the early games, which were intense and competitive. Both players and fans, were also putting an emphasis on having fun and maintaining sportsmanship.
"I enjoy going to these games not only because of the competitiveness, but because of the up-beat atmosphere that everyone here seems to keep," said local fan Eric Gardner. "All of the teams want to win, but if they don't, they congratulate the other team for doing so."
One of the odd events at Friday's games occurred when one of the scheduled teams to play from Minnesota was unable to show up.
Because of this, two teams who had a break in between tournament games decided to scrimmage each other, but there were no referees and the press box announcers were totally unaware of the scrimmage.
The coaches immediately volunteered to referee the scrimmage, and fans of the opposing teams came together to help find whistles for the coaches. One of the parents pulled out a dog whistle for the opposing coach to use, which sparked some friendly jawing between the fans.
More than 90 teams were scheduled to make an appearance at the tournament, coordinated by Baldwinsville girls varsity head coach, Doug Rowe, to gain valuable experience and to have a taste at some of the elite competition in New York and the surrounding states.
Participating teams were from all over New York, from Buffalo to to Albany to Long Island, plus Connecticut, Virginia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine, and even Canada.
So many teams competed in the High School (33) and Futures (28) divisions that a new format arrived. Now they played three full days of round-robin in four divisions, with only the division champions advancing to semifinals and finals, instead of the 16 in years past. Also, they played 25-minute single games, instead of a pair of 15-minutes halves.