As with all box lacrosse players, Cobble Hill’s Josh MacDonald missed out on the entire 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, scouts and coaches have long memories, and they hadn’t forgotten what they liked about MacDonald when it came time for the 2021 B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League draft on Jan. 14.
MacDonald was picked by the Nanaimo Timbermen in the second round, 13th overall, setting him up for the next step in his career.
“It feels pretty good. I always wanted to be in the junior draft,” said MacDonald, who watched live as the draft was conducted virtually through Zoom.
It wasn’t much of a mystery who would be calling his name, however. Both Vancouver Island teams, the Timbermen and the Victoria Shamrocks, had expressed interest in MacDonald, but the T-Men had called him just before the draft to let him know they would be picking him. The T-Men had previously traded their first-round choice to the Coquitlam Adanacs, so MacDonald was the first player selected by the Nanaimo club.
MacDonald joins fellow Cowichan products Thomas Vaesen, Colton Lidstone, Wade Mason, Kalum Lachance and Nate Clark in the Timbermen organization.
According to the BCJALL’s draft preview, there were “rave reviews” for MacDonald coming out of the Cowichan Valley Lacrosse Association.
“A physically imposing player with soft hands, MacDonald could fill a variety of roles sooner rather than later for a team, whether it’s at the A level or if he starts out with a B1 team,” the league’s official website read.
The top three picks, including No. 1 overall Cody Malawsky, and four of the top five, all came out of Ridge Meadows. The lone exception in the top five was Comox’s Jordan Vincent, who went fourth overall to the Delta Islanders. Ridge Meadows accounted for 12 of the 48 players selected.
This was the second year in a row that one player has been picked from Cowichan, after goalie Jackson Owen went to Victoria in 2020.
Three players were picked in 2019: Devyn Zunti by Delta, and Lachance and Mason by Nanaimo. The CVLA had a high of seven players drafted in 2014.
MacDonald, who has represented B.C. at nationals in both box and field lacrosse, is currently attending the lacrosse academy at Royal Bay Secondary School in Victoria. The team currently practices once a week, but they will have lacrosse classes five times a week when the new semester starts in February.
He managed to get by without lacrosse last summer.
“It wasn’t too bad. I just kept training,” he said. “I did miss box lacrosse. That’s for sure.”