Cyclones hold off Mustangs
Connor Walton is quick on the draw for the E.L. Crossley Cyclones.
The Grade 12 student is the Cyclones’ designated face-off man, a role he takes very seriously.
“I’m the draw guy, I have been for the last three years. Basically to win, we need possession so the face-off is key,” Walton said. “I hold the ball as much as I can, cut when I can and I can shoot the ball when I can.”
Walton shot the ball well Wednesday, scoring four times as the Cyclones defeated the Saint Michael Mustangs 10-7 to capture the Zone 3 AA field lacrosse championship at Governor Simcoe.
The Cyclone now advance to the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (SOSSA) AA playdowns in Hagersville, Thursday, May 23.
Walton came upon his role almost by accident.
“We needed someone to step up and our coach saw a picture of me doing it with my brother in the backyard so tried me on it and I was good at it,” he said. “I started watching videos and practising all the time and got better.”
Crossley coach Kim Yallup has a soft spot in her heart for Walton.
“He’s a team leader. He’s been here for four years and his brother (Curtis) played for me before that.
“He has a great knowledge of the game. He explains the game to them and is very patient. It’s so nice to have him. I’m going to miss him next year.”
She also appreciates how important a role Walton fills.
“Face-offs are huge. Without possession, you don’t have the ball and you can’t score. When they got possession, they scored more goals than I expected.”
Walton said the Cyclones knew they would be in for a battle against the Mustangs.
“We heard from Notre Dame who played them before they were a good team. They got up early and we had to come back. We scored three quick goals and that really helped us,” he said.
Yallup made sure the Cyclones didn’t take the Mustangs for granted.
“We didn’t come in expecting a cake walk. We’ve done that once before with Saint Mike’s. We hadn’t lost a game all year and then lost to Saint Mike’s and didn’t go to SOSSA for the first time since I started this team.
“They play rough and tight so I told them we have to play. I don’t care if they are weaker, but we have to score 10 goals and play hard against these guys.”
Saint Mike’s coach Rob Wilson was proud of his team’s effort.
“Our game plan was just to try and stay healthy. We didn’t have many subs. We had three lacrosse players out. We wanted to try and keep the game close and hope for some breaks late.
“When you’re short-staffed and short on the bench, to hang with a good team like that, that’s good. We’re happy.”
Yallup is looking forward to SOSSA where two local representatives will advance to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associatons (OFSAA) champonsips.
“We have a first and second bid so these boys have some big dreams. We have to come first or second,” she said.
Cyclones 10 Mustangs 7
Johnny Rocco’s/Mick and Angelo’s Player of the Game: Crossley’s Connor Walton with four goals and an assist.
E.L. Crossley Cyclones: Walton 4; Dee Bell 3; Carter Nicholas 2; Noah Wouthuis.
Saint Michael Mustangs: Nolan Fehr 5; Cam Lowe; Reid Lowe.
Up next: The Cyclone advance to the SOSSA AA playdowns in Hagersville, Thursday, May 23.
On the right side of our web site, you will notice a yellow SUPPORT US button.
We are asking anyone who finds value in our work and is able to financially help us to click on the button and contribute whatever amount you feel is appropriate and can afford. There is no set amount. Any amount is appreciated.
The funds collected will be used to enhance and offset the expenses of running the web site.