Five local athletes to play for provincial lacrosse team

·2 min read

Five local athletes from the Strathmore Lacrosse Club have been selected to join Alberta’s Junior Roughnecks.

According to Strathmore Lacrosse Club president Trevor Mandziak, the opportunity presented to the selected players is an exciting one, which they can use to further develop their skill as athletes.

Ajay Hannigan, Gray Jensen and Caden Mandziak have been selected to join the Roughnecks U12 team. Dexter Hannigan and Ryder Endall will be joining the provincial U16 team.

“There was an open invitation to try out for the team, and then the players went through for evaluation sessions. They were also evaluated and scouted during the Canada Day lacrosse tournament that happened over the Canada Day long weekend,” said Mandziak. “The coaches and evaluators got to see them in a closed practice type of environment, and then watched upwards of five or six players’ games with their own clubs.”

Mandziak added that for the players headed to join the Roughnecks, the game will be a much different experience playing with more freedoms on the field and being among fellow advanced skilled athletes.

“It’s a great step forward and for the U12 young guys, it’s a great introduction. It’s a big deal because they basically get exactly like National Lacrosse League (NLL) players do. So that’s going to be really exciting for them,” said Mandziak. “For the U16 players, most of those players are graduating out of minor lacrosse and going to be starting their junior careers next season, so for them it’s a really great launching platform for their junior career.”

Playing with the Junior Roughnecks will be a summer elite program. Players will be training three times a week until Aug. 24, at which point they will travel to compete at a national tournament in Oakville, Ont., a tournament that will encompass all NLL teams from across Canada.

“I take my president hat off and put my dad hat on. I know my kid bounced around the house like a maniac for a good couple of hours on that Sunday night on Canada Day long weekend,” said Mandziak, who will be watching his own child play on the U12 team.

The Strathmore Lacrosse Club is one of the smaller clubs within the Calgary District Lacrosse Association, so to have five players selected for the Roughneck teams is a big deal and is the most talent the club has ever sent.

Mandziak said it’s a proud moment for the club and that in future years, he hopes to see that number matched, if not exceeded from Venom athletes.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting