1987 Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League (EPBLL)
A big thank you to Dave Coleman of retrolax, and Crossecheck.com, for originally posting this to his YouTube channel.
This was the inaugural season for the EPBLL using four hotbed cities on the eastern seaboard to demonstrate the game.
The teams, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Baltimore, and Washington played three home, and 3 away games, followed by playoffs.
A Little Background:
The Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League was the initial name of a box (indoor) lacrosse promotion formed by Kansas City businessmen Russ Cline and Chris Fritz in 1986. The league, which debuted in January 1987 in four mid-Atlantic cities, is the ancestor of today’s National Lacrosse League which now features teams from coast to coast in the United States and Canada.
All four of the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League clubs were centrally owned and operated by Cline & Fritz’s corporation. There were no individual franchises or team owners.
Following the 1988 season, the league re-branded as the Major Indoor Lacrosse League. In 1997, the league re-branded again and became the National Lacrosse League. At the same time, the league de-centralized and shifted to a franchise model with individual owner-operators in each league city.
In This Game…
This game had the New Jersey Saints vs. Philadelphia Wings from the Spectrum in Philadelphia.
New Jersey had a potent lineup of Kevin Cook, Randy Natoli, Jeff Goldberg, Rich Mullen, John Driscoll, Norm Engelke, Greg Tarbell, and Bob Picolla.
Philadelphia had an explosive lineup with John Tucker, Mike French, Paul French, John Grant Sr., Pat Hanley, Greg Manley, Jeff Harris, and Pat Lamon.
The Goalie match-up was Kevin Bilger for the Wings vs. Bill Beroza for the Saints.
The 14,000+ at the Spectrum enjoyed a fast paced, high scoring game, which had great goals, and aggressive play, keeping the game electric the entire way.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy this game in it’s entirety!
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.