By Jim Bailey
Times Sports Editor
Two players from the West Kootenay Wolfpack lacrosse team are gearing up for the B.C. Summer Games July 19-22 after cracking the Zone 1 Kootenay squad last month.
Warfield’s Tyler MacAulay, 16, and Trail’s Derek Davis, 15, started playing Canada’s other national sport three years ago and have embraced the high-energy game like no other.
“I really like it,” said MacAulay. “I like the contact and I like how fast-paced it is.”
The J. L. Crowe students will be playing for the Kootenays in the box lacrosse division in Surrey opposed to field lacrosse.
The two are more familiar with box lacrosse style played indoors rather than the outdoor game. In box lacrosse the playing surface is limited with six players per side, while there are nine in field lacrosse.
A smaller surface, smaller nets and smaller sticks for the defenceman, more padding for the goalies, and playing in closer quarters means a more physical and faster game, which both players gobble up like candy.
“I like the hitting. You can cross check so you can kind of go nuts – it’s cool,” said Davis.
And while they still enjoy playing hockey and soccer, or ripping up the slopes, according to the dynamic duo, none come close to lacrosse.
“It’s a lot more fast paced, there’s hardly any whistles, there’s no stoppage in play really, it keeps the game really fast and intense,” added MacAulay.
Davis agrees, “It’s tiring too because you can’t glide like in hockey, you have to run the whole time.”
With Davis as a point man and MacAulay as a crease-man (similar to forward), their experience playing together for the last three years has served them well.
Like a point-guard in basketball, Davis carries the ball up the floor and tries to set up scoring opportunities for crease-men like MacAulay as they pass through the ‘kill-zone’ at the top of the opponent’s crease.
Davis comes from a long line of lacrosse players, his grandfather Don is in the lacrosse hall of fame and father Ken played and was also a member of the Kootenay team that played in the Summer Games years ago.
The Zone 1 team attracted just over 20 players to its tryout and is at a decided disadvantage when facing the more densely populated lower mainland teams, but still the pair will do its best, said Davis – which is what the Games are all about.
“We don’t expect to win many games, we’re just a C team and we’re playing against the best teams in B.C., like the A-1 teams,” added MacAulay.
Davis says he hopes to win at least one match, but regardless of outcome, the duo are looking forward to the Games experience; a unique event with athletes from across the province, competing in a variety of sports that highlights the best in sportsmanship, spirit, and competition.
“I’m really excited for it,” said MacAulay. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve never been to anything like it before.”
Over 200 Kootenay athletes, coaches, and supervisors will travel to the games in Surrey, including 19 from Greater Trail.
The lacrosse tandem will warm up for the Games this weekend as the West Kootenay Wolfpack heads to the B.C. Lacrosse championship.