By: Hooper Neale
Long Island was the second city to be added as a Shootout for Soldiers destination back in 2014, but the city is the first to break an incredible registration record. This year, around ninety teams have registered for the Long Island event, which is more than any previous SFS event – by a long shot. In fact, there are so many teams registered that at some points during the 24 hours, there will be not just two, but three fields actively hosting games at one time.
A big reason for this registration surge is Recon Lacrosse, an organization that has a total of nine youth teams and an alumni team participating in the event. “Each team has chosen to raise money, and as an organization I believe we currently have raised more than $15,000 and we are still building on that number,” said Steven Jacobs, Executive Director of Player Personnel for Recon Lacrosse.
The members of Recon Lacrosse have been more than willing to join the cause. “I love how much the people that participate in our summer lacrosse program rally together to show their support for the men and women that protect our country and our freedoms,” said Jacobs. “They are truly the best parents, coaches, and student athletes around. I can’t express in words how much we appreciate their support. It is also why having three games at one point will not be a concern for us. No matter what the situation is, we know the people in our program will rise to the occasion and make sure the kids have the most positive experience.”
In Jacobs’ opinion, the highlight of the event is the Veterans Game. He is eager for the members of Recon Lacrosse, as well as everyone who comes out to the Long Island event, to see that game in particular. “I think it’s something that touches the hearts of every person that is there to witness it,” Jacobs explained. “Having generations of our nation’s military joining together to take part in one single lacrosse game is something you just don’t see every day.”
The Veterans Game is something that truly puts into perspective the whole meaning of the event. “These men and women are so important to the things we have and take for granted daily basis,” said Jacobs. “People in our country often get lost in their everyday lives and forget what the most important things are. These men that we get to share the experience of the Shootout for Soldiers with help bring us back to earth a little bit. They help remind us to be grateful for the things we have, and not to be worried about the things we don’t have.”