Titans Junior A Game 13 and the Trade Deadline

Posted: July 5, 2013 by Paul Rai in Alberta Lacrosse, Junior A Lacrosse, Vimy Lacrosse
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Whirlwind week as we played on Sunday afternoon of the long weekend in stifling heat against the league leading Mounties.  Back and forth all afternoon and we emerged barely with an 8 – 7 win.  It was one of those lacrosse games where everyone, players and fans, were sweating all game.  The players were panting on the bench as the heat took its toll.  In games like this the players are always struggling to find some air.  By the end of the game the equipment is soaked, jerseys are waterlogged and the gloves are slipping on the stick.  It’s exactly how the game should be played, in unbearable conditions that only the true participants can enjoy and treasure.  As coaches we were extremely proud of the effort of a bunch of players that found the energy to play two great games on consecutive days.

So five days later the questions are still coming.  Why did we make trades from a team that was in second place in the Alberta Junior A League?  The answer goes back several months when Jimmy and I took over as coaches of the Titans.  We always said we would carefully assess our team not against the rest of the teams in the province, but against the top teams in Canada.  Winning the league would be a great accomplishment, but would we be able to compete with the best in Canada?  We saw the strength of teams in Ontario and the trades that were occurring in BC and we came to the conclusion that we were not quite there.  No Alberta teams were willing to loan/trade their top talent to us for a run at the title so we gave up players as trades/loans to help others in the league.  We bit the bullet with the knowledge that three of the players would be returning to us next year and the hope that as we develop our strength other Alberta teams will come to our aid in the future.  That is a huge leap of faith on our part, but something has to give.  Even with the trades we made, any Alberta team that goes to the Minto Cup will be in tough.  The other provinces will be bringing elite talent to the National Championships, including NCAA all stars and NLL professional players.  The competition will be fierce and loaded at the Minto Cup.  We have great players in Alberta, but the talent is spread out and we do not have the depth on our teams to win at the Minto Cup.  Maybe the trade we made will help with this disparity.  Having 17 and 18 year old players in primary roles on our teams is not the answer.  They need development time and the veteran players are critical to success.  Do all teams have the same views?  Tough to tell.

Where do the Titans go from here?  We compete as we always did.  We do not roll over for anyone and we push our players to step up to this challenge.  We will go on the floor running as we did previously and when we play, we play for each other.  We brought back two Sherwood Park boys, Ryan Davidge and Dallas Smith.  Both will bring us offense and allow them to play in front of family and friends.  There is no quit in our team and we will battle.  In the short term we will focus on the task at hand, and in the long term we will continue to build this team to be a top competitor in the province and country.  Big weekend coming up as we welcome some players back to the Arena playing for the opposition.  That will be fun!

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