Raiders trade top sniper
Lacrosse: DeWinton's Holden Cattoni off to famed Peterborough Lakers
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 06:00 am
The primary offensive weapon of the Okotoks Jr. A Raiders is headed to Ontario.
Okotoks shipped top-scorer Holden Cattoni to the vaunted Peterborough Lakers for future considerations last week, letting one of the faces of the franchise develop his game in the highly-rated Ontario Jr. A Lacrosse League.
“We talked about it starting last year and we decided last year wasn’t the right time for me to be traded,” said Cattoni, from DeWinton. “It just ended up working this year and I’m going to Peterborough.”
The motivation to take his talents to the Heartland Province come out of a sincere desire to win a national title and play with the elite at the Junior A level.
“To play at a better level, have the opportunity to win the Minto Cup and compete more nationally,” he said. “Having the opportunity to play with a higher calibre of players and a higher calibre of a league overall.
“Not to put down the Alberta league at all, but it’s just a totally different atmosphere out in Ontario.”
He joins a Lakers outfit steeped in tradition. The Lakers are one of the most storied Jr. A clubs in Canada, boasting 12 Minto Cup championships, most recently in 2006.
“I’m really excited to play in Peterborough,” Cattoni said. “Even just talking to a few of the guys since the trade has been released, I’m feeling very welcomed and definitely excited to get down there and start playing.”
Raiders general managed Dave Pym’s relationship with Lakers defensive coach Tracey Kelusky accelerated the move to Ontario for Cattoni, who’s finishing his sophomore season with the Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays as a pre-med student.
“It’s always bittersweet when you trade a player. These kids grow on you and you do your best for what’s right for them long term,” said Pym. “The Lakers are getting one of the top players from the Raiders program. We have a great relationship with teams across Canada and will continue to leverage on those relationships to do what’s right.
“We know Holden will continue to make us proud and will prove the Raiders can develop top-level ball players.”
Cattoni’s résumé is as impressive as they come in Alberta.
The 19-year-old finished in the top-three in league scoring in all three seasons in Okotoks, notching career highs of 45 goals and 95 points in 2012 as part of a dynamic duo with sharpshooter Jimmy Delaney. He registered 220 points from 2011-13, the most of any player in the Alberta Jr. A Lacrosse Division during that timeframe.
“It’s always hard to say goodbye especially with an organization that gave me so much and so many opportunities,” said Cattoni on the transaction. “I see this as another opportunity they gave me. I’m definitely very thankful for everything they’ve done for me.
“Especially Dave Pym who’s taught me a lot and done so much for me.”
As for the returning Raiders?
Cattoni said the group is in good hands.
“Dave Pym’s going to put a good team on the floor and they’ll be totally fine with the coaching from Andrew McBride and Dane Dobbie,” Cattoni said. “I’m very confident in the Raiders.”
Should fate have it, the Raiders and Lakers could see one another at the Junior A championships this summer in Langley.
Under the new format for the Minto Cup, the Ontario champions square off in a seven-game East-versus-West final versus the winner of a Western Canada series between the titleholders from British Columbia and Alberta.
For more information on the Raiders go to raiderslacrosse.ca