BY IAN THORPE
The highway signs are already up, telling us that Nanaimo Minor Lacrosse is eager to get players registered and organized for the upcoming spring season. It’s no wonder, as the sport is on the upswing locally and last season was a very successful one.
Among the many highlights from last year was Nanaimo’s hosting of the female provincial tournament. Icing on the cake was that the local peewee B girls’ team won a B.C. title on its home floor, going undefeated to reach the final and then defeating Coquitlam 5-2 to claim the gold medal. Players on the championship team were Katie Bohati, Abbie Kubacki, Maddie Palmer, Jessie Ferraro, Irelyn Wear, Vanessa Fauchon, Isla Davie, Olivia Ingrey, Fally Evans, Abbie Ruff, Alyssa Cooper, Allison Gregory, Keira Mardell, Carlyn Frederickson, Isabella Thomas, Chanel Okeymow and tournament MVP Jayda Price. Coaching the girls was Graham Palmer, assisted by Brad Dougan, Amy Cooke-Yarborough, Sarah Ferguson and team manager Brandy Price.
Meanwhile, a pair of local players were selected to Team B.C. squads and competed at the Minor Box Lacrosse National Championships held last summer in Coquitlam. Keenan deWit was a member of the provincial boys’ peewee team that captured a silver medal at nationals, while Avery Winchell was chosen to the B.C. bantam girls’ team that won a national gold medal!
There were other team and individual success stories from NMLA last season and unfortunately space doesn’t allow mentioning all of them. However, we’ll focus on award winners who were recognized at the Nanaimo District Lacrosse Association annual general meeting following the end of the season. My thanks to incoming president Brande Terris for sending along the highlights…
Divisional awards from the peewee division saw Abbie Ruff named as best goalie and Jackson Luchtmeyer the best defensive player. Most sportsmanlike in the division was Liam Sullivan and most improved peewee player was Jaden Anderson.
From the bantam level last season, the best goalie was judged to be Ryan Jobe. Colton Finstad was chosen as best defensive player, Gavin Pendergast was the most sportsmanlike and Dexter Komen was picked as most improved player.
Midget divisional awards saw Veronica Jones named as best goalie. Best defensive player in the division was William Wyse. Bryce Amos was the most sportsmanlike midget player and Owen Baker was chosen as most improved on the season.
Major association awards saw the Fred Fulla Trophy as top goalkeeper presented to Abbie Ruff. Lydia Zart was named as the NDLA’s Most Sportsmanlike Player. Courtney Branchi was chosen as Best Defensive Player and Bostyn MacDonald was Most Improved Player overall.
Named as Most Inspirational Player from last season in minor lacrosse was Ethan Stannard and the award as Top Junior Female player went to Elise Angelucci.
Receiving the Alex Ferguson Trophy as Referee of the Year was Colton Merner. Manager of the Year in the NDLA was Heather Quitley and Coach of the Year was Graham Palmer. The prestigious Lacrosse Boy award was presented to Dylan Clark.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair and show good sportsmanship.