Athletics rally to win U13 crown
The St. Catharines Athletics rose to the occasion to capture the U13 championship at the Ontario Field Lacrosse championships in Brampton last weekend.
The A’s topped Orangeville 6-5 in the championship final after struggling to defeat the Northmen earlier this season.
“Orangeville was definitely the team to beat,” defensive coach Tim Luey said. “They went undefeated all season long. We had some good quarters against them and I did think we could play with them.”
Luey said the A’s were able to put the past losses against Orangeville behind them and focus on winning when it counted the most.
“I think our kids were in a good state of mind going into the game believing they could win,” he said. “The kids really worked hard, were great on loose balls and played probably the best defence they played all season. Holding them to five goals was no small feat.”
The A’s won in dramatic fashion, rallying with two goals in the last three minutes of regulation.
“They showed a lot of mental toughness,” Luey said. “It was pretty awesome.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the kids because we really were a good underdog story.”
The A’s advanced to the finals with a 6-5 win over Huntsville Sunday morning. St. Catharines previously defeated Huntsville and Oakville while losing to Orangeville in the round-robin portion of the tournament.
Before the final, Luey, along with head coach Shawn Grenier and offensive coach Ryan Callaghan, got the team together and watched the St. Catharines Athletics capture the U15 championship which took place right before the U13 game.
“We went and did a warm up on another field and then we brought the kids over and watched the fourth quarter,” Luey said. “One of the things I said to the kids was mentally I want you guys to watch this and visualize us beating Orangeville.
“I think it was so cool for our kids to watch the U15s win a championship.”
Along wth the U17 squad, the A’s captured three Ontario titles in one day.
“That’s just rare. We’ll probably never win three championships in a day ever again. It all happened right in the same field around the same time, so it was really cool,” Luey said.
Luey felt the A’s peaked at the right time.
“Our season went pretty well,” he said. “We lost to Huntsville early in the season and we lost Orangeville. But we won the rest of our games. “We played good at times and showed some room for improvement and other times.”
Members of the winning team are: Kaleb Grenier, Cole Mcmann, Reif Steenhuis, Mackenzie Taylor, Blake Berard, Austin Deary, Cam Jackson, Lochlan Cahill, Owen Scarlett, Elliott Jones, Alex Forrest, Mason Elliot, Keegan Luey, Colten Dackiw, Matt Yurcich, Justin Yurcich, Sawyer Klassen, Tanner Hart, Kieran Raynor. Shawn Grenier (head coach), Tim Luey (defensive coach), Ryan Callaghan (offensive coach). Terrance Cahill (trainer), Jon Mcmann (trainer).
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