Bloomington Youth Lacrosse Association hosted the 2nd annual Bait Bucket Battle and became the largest youth lacrosse tournament in Minnesota. Fifty-six teams from the Metro area, including eight from Missouri and Wisconsin, competed over June 9th and 10th on fields at Jefferson High School, Olson Middle School and Westwood Elementary in Bloomington, MN. An estimated 1100 players and their families attended the tournament.
There were seven brackets with championship games. In the girls 7/8 division, Kansas City Blue Lions beat Stillwater 9 -7. The Kansas City Blue Lions also beat Minnesota Elite in the girls 5/6 division in a close game by a score of 10-9. The boys 3/4 division championship game pitted Minneapolis against Stillwater, with Stillwater winning 7-5. In the boys 5/6 division it was Minnetonka over Eden Prairie 8-1 in the A bracket and Eagan over Minnetonka 8-2 in the B bracket. In the B bracket, for the boys 7/8 division, the Kansas City Blue Lions defeated Stillwater 5-4.
The tournament ended with two powerhouse teams familiar with winning and losing to one another. The A bracket for the boys 7/8 division was played on the turf with Bloomington Lacrosse against Lakeville. The score was tied three minutes into the second half but the close match was short lived with Bloomington increasing the lead by five before the fourth quarter. The final score was Bloomington 9, Lakeville 3.
One of the highlights happened when the Lakeville goalie, with ball, stepped outside the crease to pass and a Bloomington player whacked the ball free and scored over his back while being taken to the ground by the goalie.
In between games the tournament offered music, games, food and shopping on site.
Bloomington Youth Lacrosse Association president Brian Johnson projects the tournament will nearly double next year to ninety teams and is considering adding an elite and high school division. Johnson believes the clubs organization of the tournament, the compact location of the games and the overall growth of the sport are reasons for teams participating in the Bait Bucket Battle. “The teams we’ve had here are saying they are going to come back for the third, fourth and fifth years,” said Johnson.
The Bloomington Youth Lacrosse Association is a non-profit community organization seeking to provide an opportunity for both boys and girls an opportunity to play lacrosse. The club offers many opportunities for kids to try out the sport without signing up for a team. They have also added a Cub division for kids age five up to second grade.
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