The Williams Lake Bighorns Lacrosse Association is getting a leg up on the upcoming 2018 spring season.
Teams in mini tyke, tyke, novice, peewee, bantam and midget divisions have been honing their skills at Chilcotin Road elementary eagerly awaiting the ice to come out at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex so they can hit the floor running.
“We’ve done this over the last couple of years,” said WLBLA president Eric Chrona. “It gives us the ability to get some of the fundamental skills out of the way before we get in to the arena.”
Chrona said interest in the sport is looking good for the season, which starts up following spring break with league games and runs until the end of June.
Divisional teams will join Prince George, Quesnel, Vanderhoof, Mackenzie and Fort St. John to make up the Great White North Lacrosse League.
Chrona said lacrosse is a great sport for athletes looking to cross train during the off season.
“There’s no fixed positions, other than goalie,” he said. “There’s not a forward or defensive players – the positions move around, and it’s great exercise, especially for hockey players. A lot of great hockey players played lacross, like Wayne Gretzky. It’s great for hand-eye co-ordination and it’s terrific for cardio.”
Games take place one day during weekends. Teams practice Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Peewee and bantam games are Saturdays, while novice and midget games go Sundays.
Chrona took interest in the sport when he moved to Williams Lake five years ago and his kids wanted to take up the game.
“I saw a coach out there by himself, and asked if I could help out,” he said.
“I’ve coached ever since and learned a lot about the game – still learning. It’s a fantastic sport. I can’t say enough about it.”
While there is hitting in lacrosse beginning in the peewee division, Chrona said the game is very strategic and has somewhat of a bad reputation for being overly physical.
“The last five years since I’ve been involved I’ve seen very few injuries,” he said.
“It is a rough sport, but if you play it properly, like hockey or football, you can get hit, but if you play strategically and pass the ball that won’t happen. A lot of kids like it for that reason – they can hit – but you don’t have to. If you’re playing the game properly there’s very little hitting.”
WLBLA registration information is available on the associatoin’s Facebook page, or by visiting www.bighornslacrosse.ca.