Agganis games ready to go, with lacrosse added this year
For the first time since 2005, the Agganis Foundation has added a sport to its All-Star Classics lineup, as boys’ and girls’ lacrosse will debut this year.
“Lacrosse has been growing in popularity to where almost every school seems to have a team,’’ said Paul Halloran, executive director of Agganis All-Star Classics. “There is a critical mass of players to pick from.’’
Lacrosse was added, he said, “in recognition of the growing popularity of the sport and the opportunity to get more kids involved in All-Star Classics.’’
All-Star Classics, a week of all-star games, began in 1956 with the Agganis Football Classic, then the primary fund-raiser for the Agganis Foundation. In 1995, the foundation began adding sports, starting with baseball.
This year All-Star Classics will include nine games: boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, soccer, and basketball, along with football, softball, and baseball. The events kick off Sunday with a banquet for the participants and scholarship winners. The lacrosse games will be held Monday at Manning Field in Lynn.
“I think it’s going to be a great event,’’ said Mark Higley, director of the boys’ lacrosse game. “I think there are going to be a lot of people there. The lacrosse community is very close, and when you have an event like this with the talent like we have, it should be a good turnout.’’
The teams are made up of high school seniors from Eastern Massachusetts. The players are nominated by coaches, then selected by the foundation.
“For a lot of kids, they get that feeling that their senior year is over and you’re done playing lacrosse, and then you get that call and it’s another opportunity to play one last time,’’ Higley said.
The Agganis Foundation, named after local great Harry Agganis, who was a star athlete at Lynn Classical and Boston University before playing for the Red Sox, was founded in 1955, shortly after Agganis died at age 26 of a pulmonary embolism.
The mission of the foundation is “to give out scholarships in honor of the name and memory of Harry Agganis,’’ Halloran said.
According to Halloran, the foundation has given 861 students four-year scholarships, totaling $1.5 million.