The Penticton peewee Heat lacrosse teams swept the provincials in Richmond July 11 to 15, with both the A2 and C division players coming home with gold medals in their pockets.
“There’s four divisions and we came home with two provincial golds,” said C division coach Cliff Shortreed. “Pretty incredible for 28 kids in little Penticton going down to the big city.”
Shortreed, whose team won their final game 6-2 over the Delta Islanders, said it was his team’s composure that set it apart from its rivals.
“They were able to keep their wits about them and not end up in the penalty box,” said Shortreed. “I think that most teams had more penalties than we did and that allowed us to slowly take control of the games.
“Our cheer was; ‘With ketchup on it,’” he continued. “The meaning behind that was to take the slash, take the hit and turn and tell the opposing team, ‘Yeah, do it again, but put ketchup on it next time.’ That was one of our rallying points, it was pretty funny.”
For Trenton Henson, the C division’s gold medal game was extra sweet. The Delta Islanders was the team that defeated Henson’s team last year in its push for the provincial gold, leaving them with a silver medal.
“It was really nice, because we just have felt like we came so close to winning it so many times, and finally, we won,” he said.
Aiden Warren, who picked up a lacrosse stick with the Heat for the first time this year, said his team felt unstoppable in the tournament.
“I was just like, ‘Oh my God, we can’t even lose or anything, we’re just doing the best we can, and it’s awesome. We’re just winning everything,’” he said.
Two mixed teams were formed at the beginning of the season, and following the zone finals, the 28 children enrolled were divided into the two divisions to move on to provincials.
The Heat’s A2 division head coach, Dan Chetner, said it felt fantastic to win the tournament and earn what was his first gold medal over his 12 years of coaching. Chetner’s team, which beat the Cowichan Valley Thunder 10-3, said it was the unsung heroes on his team that made the difference in the end.
“There are certainly players that score goals and get points, and they always get a lot of recognition,” said Chetner. “Those other players that work hard and pick up a loose ball or hustle back and catch someone on defence, they never end up on the score sheet. Those are the guys that contribute to a team’s success as well.”
Beau Chetner was named to the all-star team and overall tournament MVP.
Ty Ricard was named the Fair Play Award winner. Tyler Pisiak was the victor in the Trix with Sticks competition.