Minor lacrosse hands out major awards

Minor lacrosse is on the agenda for this week, as we clear up some old business, then deal with new business related to that sports group…

Minor lacrosse is on the agenda for this week, as we clear up some old business, then deal with new business related to that sports group…

Just before Christmas, we passed along news from the Nanaimo and District Lacrosse Association’s annual general meeting and awards night. Team and division awards were covered, but space didn’t allow mention of some other major honours.

Association swards presented by the NDLA included the Defensive Player of the Year trophy, won by Jake Soles. Honoured as the association’s Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year was Megan Orr.

Raury Lancaster was chosen as Most Improved Player, while Nolan Sekoranja got recognition as Goalie of the Year. Selected as last season’s NDLA Lacrosse Boy was Jacob Odynsky, who was acknowledged not only for his playing ability, but also for having given back to the sport through active contributions during his playing career.

Other major awards saw Murray Salmon named as Coach of the Year and Tracey Lassam as Manager of the Year. In a classy touch, the Referee of the Year award was dedicated to the memory of Matt Taylor, the young official who passed away during last year.

Among the highlights of the past NDLA season were the efforts of a pair of provincial medallists. The bantam A2 boys’ squad from Nanaimo were Vancouver Island champs, then went on to place second at the BCLA provincials held in Vernon. An excellent effort earned the silver medal for Nanaimo players Justin MacLennan, Brandon Roberge, Hunter Gackstatter, Teegan Lance, Bryce Taylor, Jeff Webb, Aidan O’Dwyer, Liam Young, Johnnie Graise, Tyus Barfoot, Cole Manns, Jayden Kambeitz, Matthew O’Dwyer, Kurt Olson, Alex Hurren, Connor Mowatt, Colton Merner, Jake Mickelson and Martin Hermans. Mickelson was named to the provincial bantam A2 all-star team, while Hermans received the Fair Play Award for Nanaimo. Coach for the team was Todd Manns, assisted by Martin Hermans and Max Hurren.

Meanwhile, the Nanaimo Island Stone Supply junior women’s team also capped an excellent season by claiming silver at its provincials held in Port Coquitlam. Leading the way was Megan Cawthorne, who was subsequently named to the all-star team, Amanda Kowatski, who earned the Fair Play award for Nanaimo and team captain Toni Angell. Others on the squad were Maddy Krassman, Nicole Martinetti, Rachel Trenchard, Kira Middleton, Amrita Dhoot, Carllie Ashlie, Kelsey Carter, Victoria Kultgen, Charlea Taylor, Maggie Paugh, Sam Hartman, Georgia Smith, Kalista Lundgren, Ashley Lestrange, Marissa Jordan, Alex Livesey, Bailey Theedom, Sabrina Price and Cassie Livesey. Darren Angell was head coach for the team, with assistants Mike Smith and Farren Ferguson.

Building on the successes of this past year, it’s exciting to note that Nanaimo will be hosting the 2012 female provincials in July.

And that leads us into new business, as planning is already well underway for next lacrosse season. That planning will be led by Gord Cawthorne, who was re-elected to continue in his role as president. Also on the new executive are vice-presidents Baron Frech and Linda Thompson, secretary Kelly Frech and treasurer Natalie Cashmore.

Darren Angell, Brian Boas, Sean Lehman, Shirley MacLennan and Debbie Cawthorne are other directors.

In fact, registration for the new minor lacrosse season is already happening. Returning players should already have received registration forms in the mail. A drop-in registration session will be held this Sunday (Jan. 15) from 1-4 p.m. at theBeban Park Social Centre. This is for minor players ages 4-16, with new players asked to bring their birth certificate and care card.

Registration forms will also be available for pickup from ReAction Sports, with a registration deadline of Feb. 15. One additional note: there is no registration for intermediate B players, born in 1994-95. Tryouts will be held in April and details will be available by emailing bkfrech@shaw.ca.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.