Minor lacrosse teams welcomed back to the floor to begin 2019 season

By Scott Roblin
April 28, 2019 - 2:25pm

MEDICINE HAT, AB – While the Medicine Hat Junior ‘B’ Sun Devils launched into their season on Saturday, the minor lacrosse scene also got a jump start locally.

One of the first local lacrosse games of the season came on Saturday afternoon, as the Medicine Hat Bantam 2 Sun Devils hit the floor for the first time against the Lethbridge Cudas.

It didn’t quite go the way of the Sun Devils however, as they dropped their first game of the season by a 7-2 final at the Family Leisure Centre.

Newly minted captain Jayden Richards said the team was still trying to find its legs, but added their speed improved as the game went along.

“There was definitely a lot of rust,” said Richards. “We worked it off in probably the first period or two. The third period got better, it just still wasn’t our best game.”

Medicine Hat boasts two of the Southern Alberta Lacrosse Association’s six bantam clubs, which saw players divvied up between the two squads with a draft.

Head coach Chad Eakins said the pair of local squads both boast equal talent, from experienced lacrosse players like Richards to those just getting into the sport.

“We got a few new kids that haven’t played before and then we’ve got some returning that have played probably seven years already,” said Eakins. “So, it’s different in this community because we get a bit of a mix from start to finish.”

That’s put the mantle of leadership on the shoulders of players like Richards, who said the captaincy is an honour but adds the rest of the vets play a key role in helping the rookies.

“It’s fun being the [captain], but it also doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “It’s just being a leader, leading the team.”

And that development of the rookie crop is what keeps coaches like Eakins returning to the floor each and every April.

“That’s a big deal for me as a coach,” he said. “I really like to bring them in at a beginner level and see where I can get them to at the end of the year, see what kind of player they can become. But, we talk about goals and try to set personal goals for each of the kids, and see where they can get to.”

Medicine Hat’s peewee and novice clubs also began their seasons on Saturday, while the Midget Sun Devils get their 2019 campaign going on Sunday in Lethbridge.

As for the tyke athletes, the Medicine Hat youngsters will take their opening face-off next weekend with a tournament in Rosemary.

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