The first dates of the Open House for Vermilion Roar Lacrosse were March 28-31, at the Vermilion Arena. Looking to recruit more players at all age levels, they are hosting another three days April 3 – 5.
Jenna Waltz said, “This Open House is an amazing idea; I think all the sports should do it so the kids can try it.”
Her son, seven-year-old Cash, attended his first time practicing the sport on March 30. New, young players had the opportunity to try out and get a feel for the equipment, while older athletes practiced a passing drill and were challenged to see which group could get the most consecutive passes.
New president this year, Greg Betz has been involved for 22 years, first as a player and then as a coach.
“Lacrosse is great exercise and helps develop hand-eye coordination. You don’t need to be a superstar to play; anyone can play the sport. We welcome players aged 4 – 16. I’d always love more volunteers, but we are really struggling post-pandemic to get enough numbers of children to play; that’s why we need to do the Open House. It’s free to any participants coming out and there is zero obligation to register,” said Betz.
Throughout the Open House, youth will learn how to pick up the ball properly, how to carry the ball properly, and will practice shooting and passing. He noted that skills that would make an ideal player would include, great listening, as well as being willing to work as a team and being willing to try hard.
Vermilion Roar is in a competitive league complete with playoffs but is more about development. It is local to the Lakeland Region including teams from Wainwright, Bonnyville, Cold Lake, Lloydminster, and Lac La Biche. If teams win their league they will get to go to provincials as well.
Betz has four children of his own involved all in separate age groups and said, “To me, teamwork and comradery is #1 in Vermilion Roar Lacrosse. We make sure everyone is included; we are not pro-lacrosse, we are a minor organization and are here to make sure the kids are having fun.”
Having been involved for so many years himself, he said the sport is a great way for both children and parents to socialize and that it teaches a lot of life skills.
“Like any sport, your coach is kind of like your first boss; you need to learn to listen to them. The payoff when you learn to listen as a team is that you start to succeed. There are no solo efforts. It’s great to see new and returning players,” said Betz. “It compliments hockey a lot. The hard work and determination will benefit you the rest of your life.”
Lacrosse, he said helps bring the community together, from players' families to children from different schools having the chance to play together. They draw players from Mannville, Vermilion, Dewberry, Marwayne, Kitscoty, Clandonald and Islay.
The next dates for the Open House are April 3, 4, and 5 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. for U7, U9, and U11; and 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. for U13, U15, and U17 age groups. Registration is open until April 17, and the league will run until the end of June. It is not necessary to register to come to the Open House and only running shoes and a hockey helmet are needed to participate. For more information or to register you can visit vermilionroarlacrosse.com. Any other questions can be directed to Greg at 780-580-4438.