Heat players get Team B.C. nod for lacrosse nationals

Penticton Heat players Aidan Danby and Cairo Rogers will represent Team B.C. at field and box lacrosse nationals

AIDAN DANBY

AIDAN DANBY

Cairo Rogers is getting a second chance to play lacrosse for Team B.C. and it’s surprising to him.

Not in the sense he doesn’t believe in his abilities, but he doesn’t take it for granted after playing two years ago as a bantam for the provincial box lacrosse team and coming away with silver.

“It’s still surreal to me,” said Rogers, who plays for the Penticton Heat midget advanced team. “It doesn’t matter what team you try out for or what you’ve made before, as soon as you get to the tryout, the level of lacrosse is always so fast. You can never go in there thinking you made the team.”

Rogers, 16, went in knowing what he had to do, which was proving to the coaches he hasn’t changed as a player except for being better.

“I’m not a goal scorer,” said Rogers, who takes pride in shutting opponents down. “It’s nice to get the goals and celly and all that stuff. I get just as much enjoyment from shutting a guy down. Maybe a good back check. It helps the team just as much.”

Rogers still recalls his first time playing for Team B.C. and being so nervous. Things changed on the second shift when he scored the first goal.

“I just rifled the ball as hard as I can. I barely even looked and it was in the back of the net,” he said. “I just remember jumping up. I was pretty excited about that.”

That goal gave him confidence to play to his potential.

Rogers midget coach Dan Chetner said the five-foot-six, 175-pound defender has had a great season and helps his team best as a leader that works hard.

“He’s a great asset for our team,” said Chetner.

The Heat coach added that Rogers never concedes a battle for a loose ball or allows a guy to beat him.

“He’s always going to give you everything he’s got. That’s infectious,” added Chetner. “It helps his teammates compete at their best.”

Rogers’ teammate Aidan Danby will also represent B.C., but on the field in Winnipeg, Man. He was surprised by his first-time selection as players from the Lower Mainland are usually chosen.

The tryouts featured a higher caliber of talent compared to what Danby has faced. The coaching staff put the players through several scrimmages to gain a sense of how they react in game situations.

“The ball movement, they move the ball way better,” said Danby. “Everyone can catch and throw. Everyone can compete with each other. The competition was pretty good.”

Danby looks forward to playing at nationals where he said the talent level will challenge himself.

“You have to play up to them,” said Danby, 15.

Chetner said what Team B.C. will get from Danby is a strong kid, who defends well.

“He works hard. He’s tough to go against for the opponent. That’s his strength,” said Chetner. “Has good body positioning on the field. He uses his strength to his advantage.”

With it being a challenge for Interior products to make Team B.C., Dan Chetner, their midget coach, said it’s a great compliment to the players.

“You really have to be very good at what you do,” said Chetner. “The fact they come from our association I think is great. It says a lot about where our association is going. The quality of the kids we have playing lacrosse here in Penticton.”