Titans Junior A Season Begins

Posted: March 2, 2014 by Paul Rai in General Lacrosse

Vimy_logo_BigThe official Junior A 2014 season has started.  To be honest the season probably really started with the Junior A draft a couple of weeks ago as the new crop of Junior A hopefuls were selected by the four teams.  The Junior A league in Canada is the highest lacrosse league that players aged 17 to 21 can play in.  When compared to its hockey counterpart the Junior A league is akin to the Major Junior hockey league.  So to break it down the Sherwood Park Titans would be the same as the Edmonton Oil Kings and the St. Albert Miners would be the same as the Red Deer Rebels.  Now that similarity may just start and end right there.  What the WHL has in tradition and resources clearly overshadows what currently exists in the Alberta Junior A lacrosse league.  The Junior A league is a young enterprise with small team budgets trying to establish itself in the minds of those in the lacrosse community.  The BC and Ontario leagues are more established than its Alberta counterparts, but still are minor when compared to its hockey brethren.

The Sherwood Park Titans organization is entering it second year of operation after moving from Edmonton when the team was named the Eclipse.  One of the biggest challenges facing the Titans is the same challenge that the other teams in the league face.  That challenge is to create a great athletic experience that will cost the players very little.  With only 9 home games it is difficult to bring enough gate revenue to finance the team for the season.  Players are required to help pay for the costs of the season unless substantial sponsorship money is raised.  This is a work in progress and as the Titans enter their second year the team name is becoming more prominent in the Sherwood Park lacrosse community.

The allure of Junior A lacrosse is not as strong as the chance to play Major Junior hockey.  There are no million dollar contracts awaiting these players.  There are, however, a growing number of Canadian lacrosse players taking their game south of the border to play in the NCAA.  The NCAA plays field lacrosse and those coaches have begun to recognize the specialized skills developed in the box lacrosse game north of the border.  Many of the Titans players are currently playing NCAA lacrosse and will return to the Titans when their college season ends.  These players use their time with the Titans to hone those skills that are so appealing to the college coaches in the U.S.

The players who play for the Sherwood Park Titans are special.  They dedicate their spring and summer months playing Canada’s National Summer Sport.  Instead of going to the lake they spend their weekends in hot and sweaty rinks because they love playing the best version of box lacrosse in the country.  Many are local Sherwood Park players, many have played with each other for several years and each year we add new players to this group.  This game will never be hockey, and I think we are thankful for that.  Our objective is to make this game special so the young players in the community are inspired to play with the Titans Junior A team when they get older.

The season has started.  Workouts have begun and the first floor sessions are less than two weeks away.  Can you smell that hot and sweaty rink?

 

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