Kohl Hynes was in net Sunday at the Pomeroy Sport Centre and looked mildly uncomfortable with the unusual gear he’d been forced to strap on.
Turns out he was– the first-time goalie for the midget FSJ Minor Lacrosse Grizzlies had never played the position before and was among the plethora of players on the weekend who had questions about rules, regulations, equipment and everything that goes along with the game.
The weekend marked the first time that Fort St. John Minor Lacrosse had been able to host a tournament as they welcomed teams from Prince George, Quesnel and Vanderhoof for a four division tournament with kids from tyke to midget getting in on the action.
“We’ve had Quesnel came up for exhibition games, but this is the first time we’ve had more teams from our zone come up, it’s super exciting,” said Grizzles president Annika Hedican.
The Prince George clubs dominated and clearly overmatched most of the teams, only losing one game through all divisions and scoring 119 goals along the way. But, winning doesn’t just happen when you change a name (Fort St. John changed their name from the Thunder to the Grizzlies earlier this year) or host a tournament, it just has to start for Fort St. John.
“It’s huge, they don’t have anyone to play,” Hedican said about her organization. “This, for them is a really big deal. And we actually just got informed that we are joining the league. So we’ll be going down to Prince George and Quesnel… We’re pretty exciting, things are happening here.”
Hedican added that league play will likely start next week in Quesnel.
The transformation from a growing organization to one that’s blossomed to its current form didn’t happen organically either, a league needs a driving force and some form of beginning. And while the makings of a program has been developed since lacrosse got off the ground in Fort St. John 11 years ago, when rubber hit the road Saturday and Sunday it found the making of a home. And with a place in a league for the remainder of the season, there is finally found an anchor for the fastest game on two feet.
“This is their first game this season and a lot of the kids are brand new so this is their first introduction to it. We didn’t have any expectations going in,” Hedican said on Saturday.The Novice group won their final three games of the tournanment, perhaps a signal that the development is trending upward faster than even the organization expected.