While all sports groups were negatively impacted by the COVID pandemic, lacrosse was more severely affected than most. At all levels, leagues were cancelled for one if not two seasons. Which meant a massive job to get things back on track and re-establish interest in the sport.
So full credit to local organizers for doing just that, because lacrosse is now back healthier than ever. For minor lacrosse, the re-building has been amazing over the past two seasons, led by presidents Brande Terris and Bryan Norby. Registration numbers were up to over 330 players this year and Nanaimo District Lacrosse Association teams did very well at B.C. tournaments. My thanks to Lindsay Gunderson and Danika Palmer for supplying the details…
Leading the way was the U15 A2 bantam boys’ squad that brought home a gold medal from the B.C. Lacrosse Association provincial champions held in Victoria. On the championship team were players Alexander Minifie, Carson Gunderson, Archer Irving, Ryder Benson, Brett Bower, Tyler Warwick, Isaiah Ramsden, Grayson Prontack, Keiffe Bourne, Jack Armstrong, Noah Mayson, Cooper Bennett, Jaden Havelaar, Dylan Maloney, Teiji Kao, Liam Manson, Nolan Penner and MVP Rylan Maughan. Coaching the boys were Matt Maughan, Matt O’Dwyer and Jeff Armstrong.
A number of other NDLA teams qualified for provincials this season. Among them was the U17 B girls’ squad that came away with a silver medal at B.C.’s held in Mission. Graham Palmer was head coach for the girls, assisted by Brad Dougan and Keira Martin and manager Ashley Ingrey. On the player roster were Jordain Hassey, Natalie Monckton, Luci Tyre, Violet Luchtmeyer, Maddie Palmer, Jessie Ferraro, Irelyn Wear, Cadence Benson, Vanessa Fauchon, Olivia Ingrey, Fally Evans, Marin Winchell, Allison Gregory, Carlyn Frederickson, Jayda Price, Lizzy Rumming, Chanel Okeymow, Cassandra Tremblay, Laura McKenzie and tournament all-star Rylee Wing.
Earning a bronze medal at the provincials was the U13 B girls’ team. Coaches were Graham Palmer, Aaron Vanderhorst, Tyler Zubkowski, Haley Campbell, Sarah Ferguson and Maddie Palmer and team manager was Danika Palmer. On the floor were players Alyse Minifie, Arianna Gordon, Marley Hyde, Eve Zubkowski, Isabella Rossi, Lia Maughan, Myelle MacNeal, Maria McGorman, Rae Gannon, Mackinley Hocking, Brynn Watts, Nadya Suna, Lynden Wagner, Sutton Gionet, Kayleigh Canning, Kerri-Anna Sampson, Clarke Wilson, Sophie Chang, Avianna Vanderhorst, Lauryn Legary, Olivia Wilson and tournament all-star Sienna Palmer.
At the U15 B level, the Nanaimo girls’ team made it to the provincial bronze medal game. Representing NDLA were players Naomi Racher, Kaylee Kemp, Katie Olson, Luci Tyre, Rylee Wing, Azure Turner, Peyton Mark, Avery Norby, Natalie Monckton, Riley Heslop, Ruby Allison, Sarah Hunter-England, Miller Wilson, Mia Wagner, Maryn Winchell, Lilliana Toth, Adrienne Peter, Olivia McKenzie, Ria Alvarado-Bob, Araya Wassell and all-star Andi Peter. Jesse Kemp provided coaching, assisted by Meagen Sharpe, Allison Gregory, Katie Terry and manager Kari Kemp.
Also advancing to a provincial bronze medal game was the U13 A1 co-ed team. Head coach was Trevor Gilbert, assistants were Jerry Kao, Michael Penner and Rob Turgeon and team manager was Tanya Penner. Team members were Cooper Ostergaard, Basil Wells, Logan German, Miles Penner, Ronin Gow, Carter Hopf, Rylan Havelaar, Ronin Hawley, Sion Kao, Brennan Kay, Matthew Zielinski, Diesel Stav, Lincoln Norby, Tayton Gilbert, Peyton McFarlane, Jackson Bird, Hunter Louwers, Ethan Zhang-Turgeon and all-star Emmett Higginson Trotter.
A Nanaimo junior women’s team coached by Brad Dougan, Lesley Winchell, Jeff MacDonald and Todd Jones, also advanced to provincials, where Keira Martin was named a tournament all-star. Congratulations also to a number of NDLA players who were selected as members of Team B.C. lacrosse squads in various age divisions.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.