No day at the Beach for Athletics
Ethan Fisher is a diamond in the rough.
The 19-year-old defender for the St. Catharines WMKL Athletics has all the tools and smarts to be a standout defender according to A’s head coach Steve Toll.
“Obviously it runs in the genes but his IQ is very high,” Toll said. “Would I like him to put on 20 or 30 pounds of muscle? Absolutely. I think once he does, he has a huge, high ceiling.
“In two years, he’s definitely going to be one of the best players back there, I don’t have a doubt in my mind.”
Toll loves Fisher’s overall game as well.
“He doesn’t do anything very, very well, he just does everything well. He plays the game the way it should be played from checking guys to his positioning, where he uses his IQ.”
Fisher, a 19-year-old graduate of Denis Morris, grew up around the game.
“I always had a stick in my hands and was constantly playing off the walls and playing from a young age,” he said.
He gives credit to his father, long time minor lacrosse coach Bob Fisher, for his love of the game.
“He played a lot and kind of forced it on me but I’m not blaming him at all,” Fisher smiled. “I love it so I’m glad he did.
“He coached me which was kind of nice to have. He didn’t treat me any different. If I made a mistake he was on me and I heard about it the whole car ride home.”
Bob Fisher coached his son for several seasons, including a memorable 2018 campaign that saw the St. Catharines Athletics bantam A squad capture an Ontario championship. The team also included current A’s Keaton Zavitz, Gavin Howard, Oliver Vanyo, Tye Steenhuis, Mitchell Armstrong and Isaac Prantera.
Ethan Fisher played a handful of games for the A’s last season and has made the transition to junior A full time this season.
“It’s definitely a lot faster and you have to get with it but after a couple of games you find your way and get comfortable and it comes pretty natural,” he said.
His speed comes in handy on transition.
“He knows when to take off and has a very good scoring touch when given the opportunity,” Toll said. “He’s got the green light to go whenever he wants. He’s one of the guys I don’t worry about when he has the ball because he makes good decisions. He’s the least of my worries back there.”
Ethan Fisher feels defence must come first.
“Definitely stopping goals is the top priority and blocking off defenders but pushing the ball up is also a big part of my game, trying to head man the ball and hitting the O guys on the break. If it means sacrificing the body, then that’s what you have to do,” he said.
At 6 feet, 160 pounds, Ethan Fisher also realizes Toll is correct and is ready to hit the gym.
“It’s very important. I have been started going to the gym more and focus on getting bigger and bulking up and getting ready for the next season,” he said.
The A’s dropped a 7-2 decision to Toronto Beaches Wednesday night at Canada Games Park.
St. Catharines, 7-10, have three games remaining in the regular season — Friday at Peterborough, Sunday at Mimico and next Wednesday at home versus Brampton — and will need to win two of those games to guarantee themselves a playoff spot.
Toll fees the A’s will come around despite their current slide which has seen them drop three straight.
“If we lose, it’s how we lose,” he said. “Against Mimico (8-5 loss) the defence played well, goalie played well, and our offence had chances. There is a little lack of scoring now but it will come with time. I’m not really worried about it now. We just have to keep on working hard.”
Tye Steenhuis and Keaton Zavitz scored for the A’s.
Peyton Booth and Willem Firth had two goals each for Toronto while former A’s captain Jackson Webster added one. Greg Palmer and Nathan Pouliot also scored.
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