Ridgewood Lacrosse Day-20 Years and Counting…
The microfilmed copies of the The Ridgewood News, dating back 20 years, are replete with articles on youth lacrosse in Ridgewood. From detailed reports of team scores and standings, 6th grade-8th grade, to photos of young girls resting during a girls’ lacrosse clinic, it is clear that the Ridgewood Lacrosse Association’s (RLA) youth lacrosse program has been a long-standing tradition in Ridgewood for at least two decades.
Along with the tradition of lacrosse, comes a tradition of excellence. In the Ridgewood New Sports section of April 20, 1997, is a photo announcing the Ridgewood High School Boys’ Lacrosse team as “County Lax King”. The Ridgewood News, 4/20/1997. The date is almost 20 years to the day, of the celebration of this year’s Ridgewood Lacrosse Day, or Lax Day, as it is affectionately called here in the Village. The theme for the 20th anniversary of Lax Day is “Honor the Game” to celebrate the feeling that lacrosse invokes in this community.
The RLA will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Ridgewood Lax Day this year on April 29th, at the Ridgewood High School Stadium field. Youth games will be held at fields throughout the town and the entertainment, food, apparel sales and parade will be held at the high school fields. With 700 youth players enrolled in the program, and a new “Super Scoopers” program for Kindergarten and First Grade players, Ridgewood can now boast a program that promises 9 years of youth lacrosse experience.
The celebration of lacrosse in Ridgewood was the brainchild of one family involved in the program in the late 90’s, the Giordano’s. The names of some of the families that carried on this rich tradition; Sheridan, Telesco and Petzold, are names familiar to many. They are also well-known to those that remain involved in the program. Lisa Petzold has been a co-chair of the Ridgewood Lax Day Committee for the last 10 years, while her husband, John Petzold, has been involved in the program for almost 15 years and Director of the Boys’ Youth Lacrosse Program for the RLA for over 10 years. They probably cannot even approximate the number of volunteer hours spent on lacrosse as a family, but for the Petzold’s, it’s a labor of love. Every year, the planning begins right after that years’ Lax Day ends, to ensure that the day that some in Ridgewood’s lacrosse community liken to a holiday, continues. “It’s all about the kids. We want to make sure every year, that they have this holiday to look forward to…It’s a day that was created for the kids to enjoy, just playing and watching lax, and being kids—having fun.” says Lisa Petzold.