Strathmore Venom takes home bronze

·2 min read

The Strathmore Venom Junior B lacrosse team claimed the Tier 2 bronze medal at the Provincial Champioship on the Aug. 7.

This year’s tournament was particularly exciting for the team as it is the first time Strathmore had a representative at provincials since 2010.

The team’s head coach Lucas Bobbitt said despite the tournament getting off to a rocky start for the Venom, the boys were able to make a significant comeback to play for third.

“We ended up having to play the only team that we knew out of the tournament – Cranbrook, who was undefeated going in,” said Bobbitt. “We had a very hard-fought game between them and us that resulted in us losing 9-6. However, during that game, we also lost our captain and leading scorer, Riley Gallant, to a broken hand, so that kind of set the rest of the tournament off on a bit of a low note.”

Despite his injury, Gallant was kept on the bench to help encourage the team and see them through to the end.

“The boys, they went into the next game against Sylvan Lake and there was a bit of a negative energy in the room. The boys were a little bit beat up because we had to put so much into that game against Cranbrook the night before that we didn’t have a ton left in the tank the next morning,” said Bobbitt.

Strathmore’s Venom Junior B began to turn things around in their third game of the round robin, taking on Lloydminster – a team that had just previously dethroned Cranbrook.

The boys defeated Lloydminster 8-5. Bobbitt said it was exactly the pick-me-up his team needed to get their heads back into it.

“That just kind of reiterated to the boys that when they play a complete game, they can beat any team in that league,” said Bobbitt. “Going into it, it was honestly a mean-nothing game. We already knew we were playing for bronze; they already knew they were playing for gold. I told the boys going in, I said, ‘let’s just have fun, remember why you love this game.’”

Bobbitt added he feels strongly about his team going into next season, as none of his players are going to be graduating into the next age bracket.

“The first thing I said to these guys after the bronze medal game was, ‘next year, we’re turning this into gold,’ because you can’t take a group this good, this tight-knit and not (go for gold),” said Bobbitt. “They’re coming back with another year’s experience, they’ve been to the dance, they’ve battled it out and they’re going to come back next year and work even harder now that they know what it feels like to lose. They want to know what it feels like to win.”

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times