Mustangs make hay in the Golden State
Lacrosse: Okotoks sends 72 kids to elite San Diego showcase
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 06:00 am
The field lacrosse recruiting season knows no boundaries — it just requires some travelling.
Three teams from Okotoks and 72 athletes from the foothills earned valuable exposure and coaching at the Adrenaline Team Elite/High School Challenge, Jan. 5-11 in San Diego County.
“It’s basically a recruiting tournament for the older kids,” said Okotoks minor lacrosse vice-president Clint Bymak. “The kids are looked at and we try to get the kids to send emails prior to different schools they would be interested in.”
Standing out amongst the crowd is no easy feat at the North American showcase, but earning tournament all-star nods is one clear step in that direction.
Okotoks players Bret Davis and Ben Fream were named to the varsity all-star game while Colton Bymak and Jesse Chong earned the distinction in the high school division.
Eighteen-year-old goalie Duncan Porter was the oldest of three siblings to make the trip to California, along with younger brother Eric and sister Julia.
“It was my first
tournament ever playing goalie and our team did well,” said Porter, who played for the varsity-aged Elite Mustang Stars. “I was just trying to show that I can play all the positions, and pretty well too.”
Porter made the switch from outfield player to goalie after suffering multiple concussions in the sport.
“My last one there wasn’t even big contact so it was obvious I couldn’t take too much contact anymore,” he said. “I’ve been playing lacrosse for a lot of years so I wasn’t about to stop playing. My team needed a goalie so I stepped in.”
The High River resident has one year left of eligibility for the tournament and to lock down a scholarship to play the sport south of the 49th parallel.
“I want to further my education and if I can use lacrosse to do that it would be pretty awesome,” Porter said. “The opportunity to take school with lacrosse is just way bigger in the states.”
The foothills products were not only given scouting exposure, they were exposed to some of the best collegiate coaching in the country.
Okotoks field lacrosse program coordinator Jesse Fehr, an alumni of Duke and Harvard University’s varsity programs, coached the high school team and brought along some high profile colleagues for the other two clubs.
Harvard assistant coach Ben Smith led the Okotoks varsity elite from the sidelines and Tom Garvey, a three time all-American with Johns Hopkins University, led the middle school team.
“We’re really fortunate to have that level of coaching,” Bymak said. “We went down and had a two-day camp on Wednesday and Thursday with Tom, Ben and Jesse.”
The trip marked the third year in a row has Okotoks fielded teams at the tournament. The 2013 version saw Okotoks squads in the middle school, high school and varsity divisions as well as contributed players at the youth level to an American team.
Okotoks’ varsity elite squad earned the best finish of the local teams, making it all the way to the semifinal in its division.
“They finished seventh and it was an exciting game because they took out the number two team to advance to the semifinals,” Bymak said “Overall they did very good and this year we played high school A and it’s a lot more competitive of course.”
The high school Mustangs did not advance to the playoff round and the middle school team finished second in its group with a 3-2 record.
For more information on field lacrosse in Okotoks go to www.foothillslacrosse.com.