As a rising youth lacrosse player, Hudson Ledwith does a lot of traveling. An incoming fifth-grader at Nordstrom Elementary School, Ledwith was in Canada and Colorado in June competing in tournaments.
Ledwith, 10, was the lone South Valley player to compete for the U.S. Box Lacrosse Association PeeWee National team in the prestigious Trevor Wingrove Memorial lacrosse tournament in Coquitlam, located just outside of Vancouver.
Teams from British Columbia, Alberta and the U.S. competed in the tournament June 9-12, and Ledwith’s team finished with a bronze medal, or third out of 10 teams. The 5-foot, 110-pounder competed against squads from a nation that invented the sport.
Hudson’s dad, Brad, said Hudson was the only 10-year-old on a team filled with 11-year-olds, making his son’s accomplishment all the more impressive.
“Hudson is on the bigger end so he can hold his own physically,” Brad said.
“One of my best highlights was probably when I set up some picks and eventually got someone open in the crease, or when I absolutely cracked someone on a groundball,” Hudson said.
Box lacrosse differs from the outdoor game as it is played 6-on-6 and indoors in a hockey rink, minus the ice. The goals are smaller—4×4 as opposed to 6×6—and the goalies are better protected with thicker pads, making it more difficult to score.
Outside of goalie, everyone plays both offense and defense, so players have to be versatile as there really are no set positions.
“I think box lacrosse is a lot more physical,” said Hudson, who plays for the Cali-Lax All Star traveling club team. “I would say you can check more, but there is less space. I like box lacrosse better than the outdoors game because it is more physical and you can play a lot more of the body.”
Though not considered a starter, Hudson received ample playing time for the national team in Canada. Brad said the games were played at some historic venues, and Hudson gravitated to the moment.
“The arenas were so cool and it felt like I was playing in the NLL (National Lacrosse League),” Hudson said.
Hudson’s PeeWee team lost in the semifinals 7-6 to a team that ended up winning the division. A U.S. team has never won gold in any of the age divisions in the Trevor Wingrove Memorial tournament.
“The Canadiens are the best in the indoor box lacrosse game, so it’s a pretty special event all the way around,” Brad said.
Hudson has a jam-packed summer schedule, with a tournament in Calgary over the July 4 weekend, and a top Junior tournament in Toronto in August.
“You have to travel to Canada to play the best box lacrosse players in the world,” Brad said.
Sandwiched in between those tournaments is the U.S. Box Lacrosse Association Nationals at the Silver Creek Sportsplex in San Jose, the home base for the Cali-Lax team. Up to 400 teams will participate in the tournament, which runs Aug. 5-7. Even though Hudson loved playing in the Trevor Wingrove tournament, he said it was a more recent competition in Vail—a world-class ski and summer destination town in Colorado—that got him the most excited.
When Cali-Lax is preparing for a tournament, it will practice at the Sportsplex from 8am to 3pm. The players look forward to enjoying things out of the rink as well.
“After one of our games (in Vail), we celebrated one of the players’ birthdays,” Hudson said. “We got ice cream and had a water balloon fight, and we got to know each other outside of lacrosse. That makes you feel like you’re bonding with the team and makes it more fun because we’re all best friends with each other.”
Sports editor Emanuel Lee can be reached at [email protected]