I'm sure this will be unpopular but age, size or talent isn't the primary issue. The largest factor in favor of Maryland teams playing better in this age group is team chemistry. They play year round together and don't have town teams that they also play for. Most Maryland teams have played at least 30 games as a group this year and practices 60+ times, in some cases 100+ games together over three years at this point in 5th grade. It's hard for any team, even with equal talent to match up with a team that has played that much together.
The gap will close, it always does and alway will. We should all relax and stop having the same arguments. Who cares if they don't go to the WSYL.
This is so true...... My son played against the Hawks this weekend and we had 4-6 practices before that tournament. They are very talented, don't get me wrong but the chemistry they have puts them over the top. The team d , knowing where the other guy is or will be, the clears, the cuts and feeds from the attack, and their riding. Their riding was more aggressive and high speed than my oldest son's jv team. That's effort, and getting 5th graders to go that hard on rides is done in practice, lots of practices together.
Absolutely correct. We played them twice. The 6-8 months of practicing and playing together is a major advantage.
I am a long island parent , and played laxachusettes yesterday , we have played Hawks and Laxachusettes the last couple of weeks , both in playoff games . First thing that comes to mind is the Laxachusettes parents are great , respectful , and are awesome win or loose , they love there sports and are competitive but understand most of the boys we are talking about havent reached puberty . thyt as a whole have some very good players , of age , if one or two kids are bigger does not make them holbacks or cheaters , class act and a good team . Now the Hawks , not only are the parents unbearable , maybe living there unrealized dreams through there kids , they flat out cheat the system ! for the benefit of winning a t shirt would hold back kids that already are 1 year older then most others. One parent from Bethesda real nice mon laughed when i said the Hawks say the whole roster is 11 and younger ,, COME ON MAN ,,,let it go ,,you keep yelling HAWKS until these touraments smarten up and require Birth year and Matrix charts ,,,like every other sports,,so to your question,,,LI parents respect laxachusetts and laugh at HAWKS
without a big discussion the 4 best teams in 2026 are Laxachusetts , Exspress , Hawks and 91 ,,,,just based on results of real tornaments ,,would be fun in denver in 2 years ,,,but why cant the other 2 come ??