Posts Tagged ‘Sherwood Park Titans Junior B’

It was a great season that ended a little too early.  The Titans Junior B team had a good run, winning the North Division before meeting a very strong and physical Calgary Mounties team.  The youth of the Titans showed as the team did not maintain the composure and discipline required to win a championship.  The energy and desire was clearly evident, but the pressure the Mounties put on the Titans was too much.  The result should not lessen the accomplishments of the Titans team.  The strides the team made this year was remarkable and was a testament to the plan that was put forward a few years ago by Russ Sheppard.  It would have been unbelievable to have the opportunity to travel to Six Nations for the National Championships, but it was not to be.

As one of the coaches of the team, I am extremely proud of the players and how hard they worked this year.  Box lacrosse is one of the toughest sports to play.  It is a sport that pushes a person physically and mentally.  There is a fine line between a legal and illegal play, making the game almost controlled chaos.  There is no place to hide in the game, as you need to go to the tough areas inside to penetrate the defence.  The game is played in stifling heat and when I looked at the players at the end of the game yesterday, I saw exhaustion and pain.  You need to be a true warrior to play the game and the Titans players are warriors.  They battled, they played their hearts out and they cared.  You cannot ask for more.

It was a tough ending, not just because the team lost, but because for a few that was their last game of junior lacrosse.  I could see the disappointment and tears in their faces.  For others, other things in life will pull them from the game.   And there will be others that move on to other lacrosse teams.  For me, it was emotionally difficult.  The ups and downs of the game are difficult to handle at times and even though I have coached for many years, I get attached to the players.  I wanted the kids to be successful and not reaching our target is heart breaking.

Thank you to all the players, the parents, the fans, the team staff and all those in the Titans organization that made this season successful.  There are a lot of people around the team that do so much to help the kids have a great season and your quiet work is deeply appreciated by the entire team.  Thank you for allowing me to work with your sons, it is always a treat to work with good lacrosse players and quality young men.

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The Sherwood Park Titans Junior B team has been slow out of the gate, but is starting to pick up some steam.  The record for the team is 2 -3 -1 with four of the first six games being played against a strong Saskatoon SWAT team.  This past weekend the SWAT visited Sherwood Park where the Titans got a victory and a tie.  SWAT is a big and physical team that have some very good athletic players on the offensive end.  In the first game the Titans manhandled a tired SWAT team 14 – 5, but the second day SWAT rose to the challenge and scored two late goals to earn the 10 – 10 tie.

There is definitely a lot of work ahead for the Titans as they still need to come together as a team. With recent additions Darren Zwack and Matt Pick the team is almost all back together.  There are still one or two missing pieces that need to be added to make this team more competitive.  For the most part, there has been progress, but more work is required, specifically in our offensive sets.

On the team there are nine current and former Vimy Lacrosse students.  Three other Vimy students are currently affiliated with the team. It’s great to see the students growing as lacrosse players and making significant contributions to the Titans team.

Here are some brief highlights from our game against the SWAT from this past Sunday.

Good day yesterday as the Sherwood Park Titans won their opening game of the Junior B Season and then the team went to the Saddledome in Calgary to watch the Edmonton Rush stun the Calgary Roughnecks in the opening playoff game.  The team had great seats by the Rush bench and the boys were more than willing to stir the pro-Calgary crown up.  As the game got out of hand on the Roughnecks the Titans players were there to high five, yell scream and just fist pump every positive play by the Rush.  Not to mention they yelled every time Jimmy Quinlan made a play on the floor.  They were pretty pumped up when he scored and not only did he score, but he had to pat the head of the Roughnecks player as he raised his arms in celebration.  Click here to see the goal and the celebration.  Typical Jimmy Quinlan celebration.  Would not expect anything less than that.

It was a great day for Jimmy as he and his wife welcomed a new daughter into the world and then he went down and beat the Roughnecks.  There had to be a lot of adrenaline in the body and he played a great game at both ends of the floor.  A person can go to a lot of sporting events and not see a great game and then there is one game that is magical.  This was one of those games.  The Rush, having been beat handily by the Roughnecks all season, come in and steal one.  Everything that made the Roughnecks good suddenly was lost.  Their goaltending was below average and their offence was off target.  The calm they displayed during the season was replaced with fear.  The entire Roughnecks were rattled and in the end it led to their downfall.

Here is some video of Jimmy on defence and some of the Titans players whooping it up in the stands.

We start the season tomorrow in Calgary and I have no idea how we will play and what the team will look like once we hit the floor running.  Jimmy will be in Calgary as well, but he will not be at the game as he has things to take care of against the Calgary Roughnecks.  That leaves Dallas Smith and I to take care of the bench.  I do know that we have some experienced players and I also know that many of them have played for us for a few years now.  We have familiar faces on the team so hopefully that will bring us some rhythm and cohesion.

The team has practiced a lot over the past six weeks and we have gone through  numerous offensive and defensive repetitions.  I am confident that we have developed a structured foundation that the players can rely on.  Now it is time to just play.  I am looking forward to this version of the Titans 2012.  We will go through some ups and downs, but I believe we have the character to do some very good things as a team.  We met as a team last night to go through some last-minute details and announce our captains for the season.  We will be led by Matt Downie as the Captain and Doug Waddell, Elton Francis, Cory Burton and Brett Reynar as our Assistants.  Now it is just time to put the ball down and blow the whistle.  Looking forward to the start of the season and I can only wonder what story will be written.

As the NLL lacrosse season heads into the latter part of the regular season, the Alberta Junior B lacrosse season is only in it’s pre-season stage.  Jimmy Quinlan and I are back as the coaches of the Sherwood Park Titans team this year.  We will be missing Russ Sheppard from our coaching staff this season as he finishes year 2 of law school.

Every new season in Junior B lacrosse is faced with uncertainty as players decide if they are going to try out for the two Junior A teams in Edmonton.  With those teams, the Miners and Eclipse, they also face some uncertainty as they determine who will be returning to their teams.  Both Junior A teams had several players graduate so they are both looking for replacements for their rosters.

We are excited about the prospects for this upcoming season, but so much will be dependent on how we come together as a team and how we pick up the new things we are teaching the players.  We have some veteran players that have been with the team for a few years and we are looking at adding some youth that Jimmy and I have known through our work at Vimy Lacrosse.  We feel we have a decent team, but so much of our success will be dependent on our ability to eliminate the mistakes we have made in previous years.

The Founders Cup National Championships are being held in Six Nations this year.  It would be a true honour to be able to attend the Championships in a place where lacrosse is sacred.  There is so much work to be done before that can even be considered a possibility.  We all know that is the end goal, but all the other teams know that as well.  For the players that play at this level, there is no fortune waiting for them as they develop their game.  The kids that play, play for the right reasons, because they love the game, they love the competition and they love being part of the team.  This is what draws me to working with these players and spending the time.  I look forward to the season and will do my best to keep you updated on our progress.  I am looking forward to the fun.

The Sherwood Park Titans Junior B team lost a tight one 12 -11 in Red Deer on Saturday against the Rampage.  The team is coached by Jimmy Quinlan, Russ Sheppard and myself.  It was a close one in the end, but after being down 10 – 4 at one point in the game it ended up being too little too late.  Click here to read the game sheet.  The Red Deer team came at us hard and with our numerous early dropped balls and bad passes, the game ended up getting away from us.  Add in the terrible time we had on special teams and the result was exactly what we deserved.  We need to play with more swagger, more confidence and a lot more determination.  Video below is an excerpt from Jimmy’s pregame talk with the boys.