Team Indigenous and Team Vancouver Island-Central Coast aren’t scheduled to face each other in pool play in the box lacrosse tournament at the BC Summer Games in Prince George, but if they happen to meet in the medal round, it will be an interesting situation for some players from the Cowichan Valley.
Addison Urquhart, Nate Akhurst and Jaydon Strom are all members of the U16 Cowichan Thunder during the lacrosse season, but they won’t be on the same team at the BC Summer Games. While Urquhart and Akhurst suit up for Zone 6 (Vancouver Island-Central Coast), Strom will be tending goal for Team Indigenous.
Box lacrosse is the only sport at the BC Summer Games that features a separate team for First Nations players, who are drawn from across the province.
The players on the Island team went through three-hour tryouts, held either in the Cowichan Valley or Campbell River. For both Akhurst and Urquhart, this is their first time playing for an Island team, which Akhurst says is “pretty exciting” and Urquhart says is “pretty cool.” Both boys describe themselves as offensively minded players.
Strom, who has played since the tyke (U9) age group, had to go through one tryout, which was held in Merritt. Although there were only 17 runners battling for a similar number of spots on the team, competition was stronger for goalies, as five netminders showed up, with two making the final cut.
So what will happen if the offensive players from the Island team have to face the goalie for Team Indigenous in action after seeing each other in practice all year?
“I don’t know yet,” Akhurst says. “We’ll have to see.”