Penticton Heat players are getting valuable experience in the Interior Field Lacrosse League.
“The number one priority for the coaches is that the kids have fun and enjoy themselves as they develop their field lacrosse skills and knowledge,” said Heat U14 coach Dan Chetner, adding that includes learning about being good teammates.
The under-14 squad is a perfect 4-0, while the under-12 team is still looking for their first win.
“The U14 team has a core of experienced lacrosse players who are also familiar with the field game,” said Chetner whose team won 11-1 over North Okanagan and 14-2 against Kelowna last weekend. “In addition, we have brand new players to the game who are working hard to develop their individual skills while learning the team concepts. All of the players are getting a lot of practice and playing experience that helps them develop their skills and abilities quickly.”
Chetner likes the progress, even when facing squads that aren’t as skilled.
“It would be easy to avoid team work and focus on individual production, but so far our team is resisting that,” he said.
Last weekend, the U12 team lost 19-2 against Kamloops and 8-4 to Kelowna. It’s a young group that includes players 10 and under because of registration numbers. They face teams not as young. Chetner added that is a challenge and the reason why they are struggling.
“I think there are both advantages and disadvantages, but depending upon the focus of the team, the coaches can place the emphasis on the advantages,” he said. “Playing at a higher skill level is a great way to improve, but it does take a certain mindset to see the advantages while not winning games.”
This weekend both teams travel to Salmon Arm with the goal of helping the game grow there. Chetner said some players from that city join North Okanagan to play, but the hope is to recruit more players to play in their own community.