By: Sharon Aron Baron
Call it the luck of the Irish when four Parkland lacrosse players earned the opportunity to play on one of the most competitive teams in the land.
Team Éire is sending its most experienced and competitive youth lacrosse teams to next summer’s World Lacrosse Festival as it attempts to crown a gold medal for the Irish.
Parkland players include Marcus Acevedo, Matthew Evans, Michael Evans, Rocky Grossman, and Ethan Streiner.
But not just anyone can compete. Not only do they have to be skilled athletes they must also have a wee bit of Irish in their veins — as all players must be of Irish descent either through their parents or grandparents.
The roster was chosen after 18 months of trials and live-play tryouts throughout the U.S. and represent powerhouse teams as Lax Mafia, Dukes Nationals, True National, Team 91 Wolfpack, Shore to Shore, Denver Elite, Evolve Canada and Express Lacrosse.
Ireland Lacrosse evaluators observed as the prospects battled top competition at the National Lacrosse Federation, National Lacrosse Union, Denver Shootout, Vail Shootout, and the Raleigh Lax Fest and ending the fall season with the newly appointed roster of players, who swept the 2024 division in Tamarac, FL as the 2023 players went 3-1 with a barn-burner loss in overtime to Miami.
Team Éire is comprised of its roster of players, some of which are featured in the Lacrosse Magazine watchlist of up-and-coming players to watch in 2020, who are already among the most decorated lacrosse players at their age group. A pair of brothers, all from the same neighborhood on Long Island, lead the team.
Alec Gregorek (SWR HS), the U16 Team Capitan, was First Team – All-World at the World Series of Youth Lacrosse in 2017 and featured on ESPN as was his brother, Liam in 2019. The Evans brothers, Michael and Matthew, originally from Riverhead, NY, now living in Parkland, who both competed in the World Series of Youth Lacrosse. Michael, known as ‘Spike’ for his shooting ability, is the assistant offensive captain of the U16 team.
Team Éire, FIL World Lacrosse Festival Team:
Joining the team are National AA Tournament standouts, such as Defensive Captain and All-World Team at World Series, Marcus Acevedo (FL), Will Chanin (CO), Ryan McLaughlin (NY), Kyle Cochran (NY), Charles Bezold (NY), Zachary Brent (FL), Ben Brooks (FL), Caleb Coleman (FL), Dominick Deering (FL), Colby Dunham (MA), Matthew Evans (FL), Michael Evans (FL), Jaden Galfano (NY), Alec Gregorek (NY), Liam Gregorek (NY), Bradley Griffin (MA), Rocky Grossman (FL), PJ Haskell (NY), Shaun Highley (NH), Jackson Hume (FL), Padraig Judge (FL), Kyle Morris (PA), Michael Priddy (NY), Sky Rold (MN), Ryan Stowell (FL), Ethan Streiner (FL) and Spencer Surface (FL).
You can see the Team Éire this winter in the Northern, the U.S. competing in high-level box lacrosse events as they prepare for their run for the gold this summer.
Tom West (Ponte Vedra Head Coach. 2019 Coach of the year, Chris Lewis (Rollins College Lacrosse Head Coach), Jamie Evans (St Thomas Aquinas Varsity Face-Off Coach, Lax Mafia 2023)
World Lacrosse Men’s U-19 World Championship & Lacrosse World Festival will be held July 9-18, 2020, at the University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.