Simmons selected third overall
Alex Simmons would love nothing more than to have his summer filled with lacrosse.
The 21-year-old Smithville resident, who was selected by the Cobourg Kodiaks with the third overall pick of the 2021 Major Series Lacrosse League draft last week, is open to playing for both the Kodiaks as well as the St. Catharines Athletics.
“For any of us 99s, in general, we’ve been waiting a year or even more to get back on the floor so I would love to go back and play,” said Simmons, who is a junior at the University of Denver. “It’s a team with a lot of young talent who are going to put a lot of effort getting into the playoffs.
“If there is a season, I would absolutely go and play. I know Kealon (Pilon) is there with me so it would be great.”
The Kodiaks selected Pilon, who attends Queens University of Charlotte, in the fifth round of the draft.
Simmons wasn’t quite sure about the logistics of the draft due to the COVID pandemic.
“Honestly, I didn’t hear about until about a week before. With all the uncertainty with the season, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was kind of shocked when I found out about it,” he said.
Simmons had a chat with the Kodiaks who brought him up to speed.
“I talked to their general manager and he gave me a layout of the team and their expectations for the season and when they think the right time is for the season to start if there is going to be one,” he said.
As far as the Athletics, Simmons is holding out faint hope somehow the 1999-born players will be able to suit up, assuming there is a junior A season.
“I think there is always that optimism that we might get that year back and have a chance to play for the Minto Cup, but as of right now it doesn’t look like that,” he said. “You just have to kind of accept it and move on a bit and look forward and not be lethargic and reminisce on the past.
“If something does come up, I would love to put the A’s jersey back on but at this point moving forward is the best thing for me.”
Simmons said losing last season was especially tough considering the A’s were set to host the Minto Cup and had assembled a roster to contend for the championship of Canadian junior A lacrosse.
“I’ve been playing for St. Catharines since I was four years old. With the talent we had at my age and the talent we had coming up, we had the dream of going to the Minto Cup and winning and it felt like it was coming to fruition at that point,” he said. “It was on the rise. We had the talent and had guys coming in from out west to give us a little help.
“All I could think about was getting back in June and playing and in August being at the Meridian Centre and playing before thousands of fans.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking.”
Simmons has been able to get back on the field at Denver where the Pioneers’ field lacrosse season began in late January. Their 2020 season was cut short after six games due to the pandemic.
“At college, all you want to do is get back on the field with the guys,” Simmons said. “It’s been difficult. There are so many COVID protocols you have to go through just to get back on the field. It’s been quite difficult.
“The season has started which is great but prior to that is was pretty difficult, both mentally and physically. You’re so used going home in the summer and playing and then transitioning into field lacrosse when you go back to school. I’m sure it was weird for everyone in that situation.”
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