It has been a week and I am still upset about how we ended the Junior A season. “What could have been?” was replaced by “What the hell happened?” We had the pieces, but were not able to put it together and when we needed an exceptional effort, we caved in collectively. I will take responsibility. As one of the coaches I was not able to get what was required from the players to extend the season. I did not push the right buttons and when we needed to step up, we instead fell apart. Extremely disappointing and extremely frustrating. We now sit on the sidelines again and watch the two South teams battle for the provincial title. The Raiders earned it and we did not respond when needed.
Putting my anger aside, I must applaud our fifth year players for their dedication and commitment to the Junior program in Sherwood Park. Without players such as these, Junior A would never have been possible in the community.
Cory Burton: Heart and soul player who has given a ton to lacrosse in the Park. Just a warrior for the team and his team mates. One of those players that you know will always have your back. From a coach’s perspective he is the glue guy. The player that keeps it all together and players rally around. Five years he has played for the Titans junior program and he definitely gave and took his lumps. Cory is a special player and will always be held in high regard.
Brett Arnston: Tough as nails. Played hard for the Titans each and every time he stepped on the floor. A little bit of a wild card at times that would surprise you with a great goal or something crazy that would make you shake your head. Loved his unpredictability and the spirit he brought to the team.
Tyler North: A quiet young man who always provided his team with a reliable defensive effort. His quiet demeanor and great smile around the room was always welcome. Tyler was a solid player for the Titans and took on more responsibility in the past couple of years and became a leader on the floor.
Adam Wild: A young man that played three years for the Junior B Titans before moving to the Miners Junior A team. We were able to bring him “home” for the conclusion of his junior career. This kid contributed so much to the Titans organization and I wish we were able to have had him back with us sooner.
Scott Kavalinas: Scott played virtually his entire junior career for the Miners Junior A program. We were able to bring him back to Sherwood Park, where he played his minor lacrosse, for the final run. Scott was a great goalie in this league and with his aging out of junior the league loses a quality young man. He played hard for the Miners and my memory of his play will always be his competitiveness. He was the backbone for the Miners for many years and will always have my respect.
Thank you boys. I know it did not end the way we wanted it to, but please know that this game is made of individuals that have incredible heart and a passion for one of the toughest games on the planet. You can not play this game unless you are a little bit crazy and love the battles inherent in box lacrosse. This game is not for the timid. I am proud to have coached you.