Seven members of the Williams Lake Bighorns midget lacrosse team are headed to the BC Summer Games in Surrey July 19-22.
Four players — Riley Lawryk, 16, Tristan Sailor, 16, Garret Taylor, 15 and Benn Taylor, 15 — will represent the North Central Zone in box lacrosse, while Brandon Bunce, 14, Jesse Wallace-Webb, 15 and Colton Springer, 15 will suit up for the zone’s field lacrosse team.
The Bighorns play box lacrosse indoors, so the competition format will be familiar at the Games. The field lacrosse players, however, will need to adapt in a hurry to the outdoor sport consisting of different rules than they’re used to.
Springer said he’s familiar with field lacrosse having played it in the Lower Mainland before moving to Williams Lake. For Bunce and Wallace-Webb, however, this will be their first foray into the game.
“It’s way more open,” Springer said. “The nets are bigger, and the defencemen are allowed bigger sticks. There’s also nine players (plus a goalie) on the field (as opposed to six in box).”
The four playing box lacrosse, who will join players from Prince George, Quesnel and Mackenzie to form the team, said they’re looking forward to the opportunity to play against players from outside the zone — primarily players from the Lower Mainland.
Benn said he thinks the North Central Zone team, being coached by Mackenzie’s Travis Stewart, should be competitive at the Games and have a shot at a medal.
The Bighorns midget squad, coached by Ken Grieve, currently wrapped up a stellar Great White North Lacrosse League season finishing with seven wins and one loss heading into playoffs this weekend.
Grieve added competing at the Games will be a phenomenal opportunity for his players.
“You don’t get many opportunities like this,” Grieve said. “The best part is they get to see the kids from the other zones.”
He added the competition will be tough considering the lacrosse season is longer in the Lower Mainland.
“Down there some of those kids play 25 to 30 games. We play a dozen if we’re lucky,” he said.
“But I think they’ll do well. They’re going to have a team of real good runners, and real good athletes.
“They’ve really improved and they’re really skillful guys.”
For more on the 2012 BC Summer Games visit www.bcgames.org.