Draft a family affair for Raiders
Lacrosse: Okotoks Junior A club goes local with selections
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 10:48 pm
The Raiders’ extended family got a little bit bigger on the weekend when the Okotoks Junior A club put an emphasis on local talent and familial ties at the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League’s 2013 entry draft on Sunday.
The Okotoks Jr. A Raiders plucked five products from the Okotoks Midget Mustangs and two younger siblings of returning players were also added to the fold. Mustangs product Kade McCormick was scooped up in the third round, joining older brother Carson on the Raiders, and with its fourth pick Okotoks selected Travis Getz, brother to second-year Raider Jordan Getz.
“I was hoping to go to the Raiders for sure, but wasn’t expecting to go so high,” said McCormick, a Grade 11 student at Notre Dame Collegiate in High River. “I’m really excited it panned out well.”
The six-foot-two, 165-pound player, who paints a similar picture to Carson, who has starred as a transition and defensive specialist for two seasons with the Raiders, knows he’s facing an uphill battle to earn a roster spot in his draft year.
“I hope to make an appearance at tryouts and cracking the squad would be ideal, but I’m not fully expected to,” he said. “I know lots of guys go in their first year to a Tier 1 team in Calgary and I’d be perfectly fine with that, but playing Junior A first year would be even better.”
Getz played with the Raiders as an affiliate last season and the opportunity to rejoin the team is a dream come true.
“Now officially being a part of the family is a big, big thing for me,” said Getz, who’s intent on making the jump to Junior A in 2013. “That’s been a goal of mine ever since I got in that game with the Raiders last year. It’s lit a fire in my eyes to make that jump my first year.”
The siblings drafted Sunday don’t only share bloodlines with current Raiders, but the two younger brothers bring remarkably similar tool kits to the floor with their older brothers.
“Travis plays a very similar style to Jordan being a left-handed and very offensively skilled type of guy,” said Raiders head coach Daryl Haynes. “And Kade looks like another version of Carson by bringing that same sort of grit that we look to Carson for.”
With their first round pick the Raiders selected Dylan Kinnear out of the Calgary Hornets, a promising 16-year-old whose already verbally committed to attend Ohio State University in 2015.
“I’m pretty fired up to be a Raider,” said Kinnear, who is five-foot-10, 195-pounds. “I was hoping I would get drafted by them.”
Kinnear described himself as a versatile player at both ends of the floor with a strong nose for the goal. His new coach agreed with the scouting report.
“He’s a good all around player. He can play out the back and the front,” Haynes said. “We think he’s going to mature quite a bit being down at Ohio State.”
Okotoks Mustangs products Chas McArthur and Matthew McKay were selected by the Raiders in the fifth and sixth round respectively, while Mustangs Kaleb Burnett from Nanton and Danny Wright from Lethbridge were added in the eighth and ninth round.
The Raiders also picked Calgary Hornet Ryland Bjorndahl, Rockview’s Justin Mount and Paolo Falzi as well as Red Deer’s Jordan Steenbergan.
For the Raiders’ brass the 2013 draft went according to plan.
“We stuck to our core values of family first and grabbed a couple brothers really high,” Haynes said. “Of the 10 rounds we picked up five Okotoks kids which we’re really excited about. Hopefully that will help get some community excitement and put some people in the stands.”
The Raiders coach said he expects all 10 of his draftees to be Junior A players at some point and close to half of the group have prospects of cracking the Okotoks lineup this season.
“We’re really happy with the way things turned out for us this year,” he said.
Raiders alumni scooped by WLA
During the same week as the Okotoks Jr. A Raiders welcomed their new crop of prospects to the organization two of its most noteworthy graduates found new homes at the Senior level.
The Western Lacrosse Association 2013 draft proved fruitful for Raiders graduates James Delaney and Kyle Dexter.
The Coquitlam Adanacs used their third round selection on Delaney, a native of nearby Port Coquitlam. Delaney tallied a franchise high 53 goals and 102 points last season for the Raiders and earned Okotoks its first league scoring title in team history.
The Victoria Shamrocks scooped up Dexter, a product of Nanaimo who now lives in Calgary, in the fourth round. He registered four goals and 11 points while playing a key physical role on defence and in transition in his only season with the Raiders.
The Western Lacrosse Association is widely considered to be the top Senior A league in Canada and features dozens of players who also compete in the National Lacrosse League.
For the latest on the Okotoks Jr. A Raiders go to raiderslacrosse.com.