Lacrosse players gain from U.S. national experience

Penticton Heat players win silver in U.S. box nationals, while another earns all-star game nod

RHYS MACDONALD was among four members of the Penticton Minor Lacrosse Association to be selected to join the Stealth Lacrosse Academy to play in the U.S. Box Nationals in San Jose

RHYS MACDONALD was among four members of the Penticton Minor Lacrosse Association to be selected to join the Stealth Lacrosse Academy to play in the U.S. Box Nationals in San Jose

It was a memorable experience for members of the Penticton Minor Lacrosse Association at the U.S. Box Nationals.

Connor Ramage and Kale Lawrence suited up for the Stealth Lacrosse Academy midget A team in San Jose, Calif., who went 2-1 in round robin and earned a silver medal, while Rhys MacDonald and Devin Cole suited up for the Stealth’s bantam A side.

Lawrence said it was special to earn a silver medal and “cool to go to the U.S. nationals as a Canadian team and come out with silver.”

“It was crazy,” said Lawrence. “We did feel good with the silver.”

Lawrence, 15, said it was a fun tournament to play in. He liked the atmosphere with parents ready to watch and players energized. Lawrence said the quality of play was pretty good, but not as good as Penticton. Being used to field lacrosse, Lawrence said they barely play box lacrosse.

“Their style of box is playing more like a smaller version of field,” he said. “The ball doesn’t get moved around as quick. They like to slow it down and use up more of the shot clock.”

Lawrence said the adjustment was easy as it allowed them more time to figure out what plays to execute. It also allowed them to know where the ball would go.

MacDonald said he enjoyed facing different teams.

“I felt that I performed very well for the way the team was playing,” said MacDonald, who helped his team win two of four games. “I was even selected to an all-star game, which was pretty cool. That was fun. I feel I played very strong.

“I feel like I gained notoriety. Lots of important people (scouts, pro players and the GM of the Vancouver Stealth) are at that tournament,” said MacDonald, who was chosen with the other three Heat players following a Team B.C. tryout. “When you have strong performances, I feel like your name can get more known by other people. That was the main reason I went. To advance further in my lacrosse.”

Cole earned most valuable player honours for his performance in a 10-2 win over Denver Elite.

The junior Stealth is the northwest’s premier invitation box lacrosse travel program. Athletes are the top players selected from the Stealth Lacrosse Academy and recommended by regional coaches.

The teams are off to Toronto Aug. 26-28 for the NLL Junior Tournament.