Vermilion’s U13B Roar Lacrosse team has proudly clinched the gold medal in a gripping display of skill and determination at the Provincial Championships held in Beaumont from July 14 to 16.
The lacrosse season typically spanning from the end of March to June, saw an extension this year for the Roar Lacrosse team, thanks to their win at the League Finals held in Lloydminster. The Roar’s first match on July 14 saw them pitted against the formidable Beaumont Raiders, the home team, in a closely contested battle. Although the Roar fought valiantly, they were narrowly defeated, with a final score of 6-5. Nevertheless, undeterred by the setback, the young athletes showed unwavering determination as they faced the Olds Stingers later that day at the Beaumont Sports & Recreation Centre. In an impressive display of skill and teamwork, the Roar emerged victorious with a final score of 8-6, taking them one step closer to the coveted gold medal.
The head coach, Greg Betz, expressed his pride in the team’s fighting spirit, stating, “Notably in the Stingers game, we were down 5-2 in the first period, but they fought their way back to take the win.”
The following day, the Roar continued their relentless pursuit with an early morning game against the Calgary Hornets at the Ken Nichol Regional Recreation Centre. Demonstrating their dominance, the Roar secured a resounding 8-1 victory, setting the stage for a thrilling afternoon showdown against the Tabor Thrashers at the Beaumont Sports & Recreation Centre. The game remained closely contested, with the Roar leading 7-4 in the last 6 minutes. The Thrashers put up a fight to come back, but the Roar held their ground, sealing a 7-6 triumph.
After two days of remarkable play, the Vermilion Roar team faced off against the Beaumont Raiders once again in the Championship game on July 16 at the Ken Nichol Regional Recreation Centre. With their eyes firmly on the gold medal, the Roar gave an outstanding performance that left their opponents reeling. The thrilling match culminated in an exhilarating victory for the Roar, with the final score of 8 - 5.
Coach Greg Betz praised the children’s efforts in the gold medal game. “The kids came out on another level for that gold medal game. That was easily the best game they played all year, so to watch them actually win that game was very well-deserved on their part. I and the other coaches on the bench had no voice left after that game,” Betz exclaimed.
Betz also noted the overwhelming support from the Vermilion Roar Lacrosse U13B fans. The electric atmosphere created by the fans, comprising of family, friends, and supporters, provided an immense boost to the team’s morale. “It pumped those kids up 110 per cent,” Betz added.
This year’s Roar team comprised 22 players, including five new recruits who had never played Lacrosse before. Some team members faced challenges in catching and passing the ball initially, but they displayed incredible progress throughout the season. Coach Betz attributed this success to the invaluable support from Lacrosse alumni, Jarrett Eyben, who shared his wealth of knowledge, and the dedicated assistant coaches Maxime Racette and Nathan Matthews, who played vital roles in guiding the team during practices and games.
The U13B Roar Lacrosse team’s gold medal win will forever be a testament to the power of perseverance and teamwork. As they bask in the glory of their achievement, the Roar Lacrosse team serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes, proving that with passion and dedication, anything is possible.