Called the Rumble at Riverwood, the contest — which is sponsored by Atlanta Youth Lacrosse — features a couple of Division I teams from the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association, an organization consisting of non-NCAA college lacrosse programs.
The game also marks the return of Auburn freshman players Skyler Cassity and Brian Yoon — who were co-captains on Riverwood’s state playoff team of a year ago.
Riverwood community coach Lou Corsetti was approached with a proposal for the game at Riverwood by Auburn coach Mike Muetzel last October.
“Actually, [Auburn’s] coach, who I know — Mike Muetzel — used to be a high school coach here in the state and then became the coach at Auburn and he called me up and asked me if I would be OK if they could get a game in Atlanta and I said ‘absolutely’ and I think that would be great and that’s how it got started,” Corsetti said.
“It was October when we he asked me and it takes awhile to get the ball rolling for something this size. We had to get a lot of administrative stuff out of the way to make it a special occasion. We’ve had the help of a bunch of parents, led by Katie Arney and Jodi Jackson, and our athletic director, Mike Santoro, who obviously approved us to do this. So, it’s a lot of people behind the scenes that you don’t necessarily see.”
Cassity and Yoon are both excited to return to their high school alma mater and play for Auburn in the stadium where their lacrosse careers began.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Cassity said. “Growing up, I moved around a lot, so I really got my first experience with lacrosse at Riverwood with Coach Lou. He was the first real coach I had and he taught me everything I know about lacrosse. Going back and playing before all my friends is really exciting.”
Yoon added, “It means a lot, because I thought I would never play at Riverwood. But, Coach Mike and Coach Lou, they made it happen. So, it means a lot to me and I’m looking forward to it.”
The game will serve as a benefit for the Riverwood boys’ lacrosse program, raising money for a spring break trip in 2014 as well as defray player costs of attending a team camp this summer.
For Corsetti, it’s also a way to promote college lacrosse in the Southeast and enhance the chances of Atlanta to host a future Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
“Organizations like [the ACC] look and see that we’re getting a big crowd for these other things and they say, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had the ACC championship here,’ Corsetti said. “Because, there’s thousands of kids playing youth lacrosse now and, obviously, their parents go to the games, so that makes it easier.”
Tickets are $5 in advance and can be purchased at the Atlanta Youth Lacrosse website, www.ayllax.com, Play it Again Sports in Buckhead and online at www.rumbleatriverwood.brownpapertickets.com, or at the gate.