TRURO – Making history is always a big deal.
It certainly is for the nine Colchester County players who will be traveling to Oshawa, Ont., later this month to compete for Nova Scotia in the under-16 division of the Alumni Cup Canadian Field Lacrosse Championship Aug. 31 to Sept. 2.
It’ll be the first time the province has sent a team to the event and nine players is the most on any provincial lacrosse squad from Colchester.
“It’s a big improvement from last year and the year before there was only two or three of us,” midfielder Billie Julian, a Millbrook resident, said.
“It also shows people in Truro are getting more involved in lacrosse and that it’s growing here,” added goaltender and Truro resident Tim Lamont.
The team leaves for the competition Aug. 28, but not before they show their community what they’re all about. The squad will be hosting an exhibition match against the Millbrook Warriors Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Bible Hill Rec Park. To promote the game, there will also be a clinic at 5:30 p.m. to introduce the game to anyone interested. The clinic will be run by Lacrosse Nova Scotia officials and sticks will be provided to anyone who needs one. There is no admission to either event.
“There’s quite a few people from Colchester on the team but there is no league here,” head coach Brendon Smithson, a former Truro resident, said. “So this is a way to introduce the game to people and give them the opportunity to try it out then stick around and watch a game.”
The players are hoping for a big turnout.
“It should be a good game and we’d really like the support,” Lamont said. “We’re pretty excited to show everyone what we do.”
Deservingly so said Smithson, who added having so many players from Colchester on a provincial squad is not only a huge achievement for those players, but also something to be celebrated by the community.
“To me it’s a huge deal,” he said. “In the past these teams were pretty much all HRM players.”
Smithson said the achievement speaks volumes about the growth and quality of the sport in the area.
“The game is growing in a lot of places but it’s about skill development too. Lacrosse has been in Truro for 10 years now and this really shows how far it’s come since then.”
The team started its tryout process in June and recently decided on its final roster.
Because they’ll be new to the national tournament, the players don’t really know what to expect and are only aiming to play their best.
“We’re going to be playing against he best players in the country,” Julian said. “They’re strong and fast and the play is intense.
“We’re going to need to play with a lot of heart,” he said. “But these guys are good athletes and once they get a feel for it I think we’ll be OK.”
NOTES: There are three other Colchester County players who will be making the trip to Oshawa for the tournament.
Nick Simpson, Steven Gloade and Zack Julian will be competing for Nova Scotia in the under-19 division of the event.