Junior B Athletics set for season opener
Jaden Patterson, left, has been named captain and Lucas Briscall, right, assistant captain for the St. Catharines Junior B Athletics this season. Photo: BILL POTRECZ
Jaden Patterson was greeted with some unexpected news when arrived at practice Tuesday night.
The 19-year-old Virgil native was called into a meeting where he was told he was being named captain of the St. Catharines WMKL Junior B Athletics this season.
“Definitely surprised,” the second-year Brock student said. “I never really played in St. Catharines before, last year was my first year here and I just worked real hard and I’m definitely honoured to wear the C.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting it. I usually just go about my business and work really hard.”
A’s coach Alec Tamas was effusive in his praise of Patterson.
“Jaden is super nice kid,” Tamas said. “Came to us last year and didn’t know much about him but his IQ for the game is crazy high. That’s one of the first things we noticed, how he can think the game and see the floor is outstanding.
“His attitude on and off the floor is great.”
Tamas also coaches Patterson with the Brock field lacrosse team.
“I was just telling him the growth and development we’ve seen from him since last year and his attention to detail, his coachability, his attitude and the way he carries himself and listens, it’s all top notch,” Tamas said.
“It’s all things we see in a leader so we’re excited to give him the C this year.”
Patterson, who joined the A’s last season after playing minor lacrosse in Niagara-on-the-Lake, understands how crucial his new role can be.
“Definitely (need to be) a role model because we have a lot of young guys on the team,” he said. “Being vocal and just being that veteran presence and working really hard at practice or just pushing each guy to be better every time they’re on the floor.”
He is also aware of the importance of playing under control.
“You have to be calm and focused and also be disciplined. You have to be the calmest player on the floor, control the game,” he said.
Joining Patterson in the leadership department is defenceman Lucas Briscall, a 20-year-old gradate of Holy Cross who now attends Niagara College.
“The letter on my jersey doesn’t really mean much,” Briscall said. “I’m out here to lead the guys so it doesn’t matter what I have on my jersey. I’m here to make the guys around me better.”
Tamas loves Bricall’s intensity.
“He had a letter for us last year as well,” Tamas said. “An awesome, awesome guy. Super loud and super vocal. Brings a ton of intensity to this team. He works super hard and is super aggressive. He’s kind of all over the floor and you can always hear where he in on the floor which is one of the things I love about him.
“The intensity he brings to this team is unmatched. There is no one who works harder.”
The Junior B Athletics begin the Ontario Lacrosse League regular season with a home game Friday versus the Cambridge Highlanders. Game time at Canada Games Park is 8 p.m.
“So excited,” Tamas said. “Just waking up and knowing it’s game week again, it’s been a little while so it’s just nice to be back in the arena and the room. It’s such an exciting feel to get this season started.”
Tamas feels the A’s are well balanced this season.
“I hope to be high scoring and not give up a lot of goals, too. We’re going to be super fast, aggressive physical team. On defence we’re going to be in your face. On offence I hope to be flying around, scoring tons of goals and making smart plays,” he said.
Patterson left no doubt what the A’s are shooting for.
“I think nothing short of the Founder’s Cup, especially after last year with our first playoff series win in 18 years. I think it’s a step we’re ready for as a team,” he said.
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