It all comes down to Nov. 8 for the Penticton Heat under-15 field lacrosse team.
The Heat will be looking to defend its Interior Field Lacrosse League crown to advance to provincials.
Heat coach Dan Chetner said it’s always nerve wracking heading into playoffs.
“Here you go 12-0 in the league and that doesn’t really matter,” said Chetner. “If you lose a game in the playoff weekend you are done.”
The Heat scored 183 goals, while allowing 40. Feeling pressure is always in the back of Chetner’s mind. He added it’s important they do the right things to put in place the opportunity to be their best on that day.
“If we want to go and compete at provincials, then we have to win the next two games,” said Chetner, who guided the U15s last year to a provincial championship on Feb. 22. “It doesn’t matter what we have done up until now.”
With the league at the U15 level not as strong, Heat players had to push each other in practice to develop their skills and work on systems and game situations. Chetner said they are looking forward to testing themselves against other competition in the province and see if they are able to compete. The Heat open the playoffs against the Kelowna Kodiaks, while the North Okanagan Legends take on the Kamloops Rattlers. Chetner figures his squad will face the Rattlers for the championship. To him, they play a better team game and Chetner said they are better suited to the game.
There is excitement among the players about possibly achieving their season goal.
“There is definite anticipation and excitement of winning the league,” he said.
Practice this week was mainly a matter of reviewing and fine-tuning.
“Everyone has the proper mindset,” said Chetner.
U11s headed to playoffs
Heat coach Chris Danby said his team is excited about competing in the playoffs. The Heat finished the season 6-5. Not only was it the association’s first winning season in that age group, they had never won games before. The Heat will face the Shuswap Outlaws while Kamloops will face Kelowna.
U13s ready for playoff push
Dan MacDonald’s squad is ready for the playoffs. The Heat will face the Kodiaks and the winner will meet the Rattlers for the championship.
On Nov. 1, the Heat shutout Kelowna 7-0 then lost 11-5 to Kamloops. MacDonald said his team stepped up its play as the group found another level. MacDonald was happy to see the things the team worked on in practice getting done in the games so he knows it works.
This week MacDonald put his players through runs and various drills as well as continued work on basic skills. MacDonald said that some teams don’t put enough emphasis on that.
“They have come a long way,” said MacDonald.
The Heat finished the season 4-8.