Owen Sound Minor Lacrosse and Field Lacrosse teams celebrated another successful season on Tuesday night with their end-of-the-year awards and championship parade.
Two N’Stars teams won provincial gold in 2018. The under-19 girls field lacrosse squad won the Ontario Women’s Field Lacrosse provincial B championship in Waterloo while the NorthStars novice-one box lacrosse team won the Ontario Lacrosse Association’s Novice B title at the Ontario Lacrosse Festival in Durham.
Owen Sound’s under-11 boys field lacrosse team won the sliver medal in the Ontario Minor Field Lacrosse League’s U11B provincials – one goal away from the gold medal losing to Halton1 7-6 in the final.
The NorthStars under-15 and under-11 girls field lacrosse teams won bronze medals at the OWFL provincial championships.
“I think Owen Sound has that expectation that when we go to provincials we’re looking for gold,” said Megan McCartney, the vice president and rep director for Owen Sound Minor Lacrosse. “The word got out last year when all of our teams did so well in provincials.”
Five NorthStars teams medalled in 2017 at the provincial level.
“We are competing against some really big centres, and for a little town of 20,000 people we’re making some noise,” said Troy Bonterre, president of OSML. “We’re being heard.”
The N’Stars novice-one club beat teams from Orangeville, Brampton, London, and Windsor en route to provincial gold. The N’Stars under-19 field team won all five games in their provincial title ascension against Halton Hills – twice – Six Nations, Brampton and Hamilton.
“Owen Sound was kind of the underdog and now they’ve proven they’re just as good,” said McCartney.
McCartney said the NorthStars recent success has led to more kids wanting to get involved in the sport.
“In the younger age groups the numbers are really starting to climb. You can see it in the girl’s field side too,” said Bonterre. “I think, big picture, Owen Sound Minor Lacrosse is really starting to grow and I think everyone is starting to see it.”
The NorthStars tykes, novice-two, and midget teams all won regional Zone 8 Championships this year.
Bonterre attributed some of the success to an influx of young coaches lending a hand behind the bench – some with experience at the professional, college and junior ranks.
Bonterre, himself a veteran of 11-pro lacrosse seasons, coached the novice-one team this season along with his duties as president of the minor lacrosse association.
“To be able to give back to a town where I started my lacrosse in, and to watch these boys succeed makes me feel really, really good,” said Bonterre.
Professional lacrosse standouts Colin Doyle and Adam Jones are mainstays within the local lacrosse scene, and the Senior B and Junior B NorthStars players and coaches often help at minor lacrosse practices, or step behind the bench themselves.
The coaches are getting recognized too. Lyndsay Brooks, coach of the NorthStars under-19 field team, was selected to coach the Team Ontario under-17 team this year.
Seven NorthStars athletes who made Team Ontario squads, spread out between the under-19, under-17 and under-15 programs, will join Brooks at the provincial level.
Lacrosse can be a tough sell for parents. Often they will spend long winters inside arenas with their kids in hockey, and when the summer months come they may picture themselves on the sideline of a soccer game or baseball diamond under sunny skies rather than inside of an often muggy and dim building.
The expense of equipment and travel can be prohibitive in the sport as well.
“It’s a huge commitment,” said McCartney. “I find it more of a commitment than rep hockey actually.”
On Tuesday parents lined up at the Bayshore parking lot to cheer on the championship teams being escorted by Owen Sound fire trucks. Many of them wearing NorthStars gear.
“We all work as a team,” said McCartney. “If someone needs a ride to a game or anything, we all work together.”
“There’s nothing like that. We’re all a really tight knit community. We support each other and we never knock each other down,” said Bonterre. “I think it’s just in their blood. They know when hockey season is done it’s lacrosse season. They love it.”
This story has been updated to include the NorthStars under-11 boys field lacrosse team that won a silver medal at provincials.
HARRY KAZARIAN (DEFENSE)
CUBBY CRUICKSHANK (MVP),
CY LEMON (SPORTSMANSHIP AND COMMUNITY SERVICE)
THE LEMON GIRLS, (SAME AS THE CY LEMON)
JEFF TAIT (DEDICATION AND PERSERVERANCE)
DONNIE CAMPBELL (PASSION AND DEDICATION)
KAZARIAN: Holden Stevenson; CUBBY: Carter Moran; LEMON: Jaxon Gawel.
KAZARIAN: Caleb Martin; CUBBY: Brayden Krueger; LEMON: Joel Coghlin.
KAZARIAN: Brady Lisk; CUBBY: Josh Lackner; LEMON: Andrew Lavergne.
GIRLS INTERMEDIATE BOX
KAZARIAN: Kate Lavergne; CUBBY: Tristin Brown; LEMON GIRLS: Emily Roney.
JEFF TAIT AWARD FOR THE U19 GIRLS: N/A
THE DONNIE CAMPBELL AWARD: Lauren Radbourne
OSML LONG SERVING AWARD: Jennifer and Jeff Morrison
OSML VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Cynthia Masters
OSML ALUMNI EXCELLENCE AWARD: Ian MacKay
U11 GIRLS FIELD
MOST IMRPOVED: Emma Pausner; MOST SPORTSMANLIKE: Camryn Stauffer; MOST DEDICATED: Bree Wilkins; MVP: Tessa Linklater
U12 GIRLS FIELD
MOST IMPROVED: Lily Shute; MOST SPORTSMANLIKE: N/A; MOST DEDICATED: London Doyle; MVP: Rory Jex, Madison Feltis.
U13 GIRLS FIELD
MOST IMPROVED: Laine Nissen; MOST DEDICATED: Brooklyn Doyle; MOST SPORTSMANLIKE: Dani Strong, Katlyn Strong; MVP: Emma Bryan.
U15 GIRLS FIELD
MOST IMPROVED: Sarah Pringle; MOST SPORTSMANLIKE: Sarah Pringle; MOST DEDICATED: Taylow Chegahno, Jillian Goldie; MVP: Kennedy Stauffer.
U19 GIRLS FIELD
MOST SPORTSMANLIKE: Kenna McKee; MOST IMPROVED: Vanessa Johnson; MOST DEDICATED: Kariya Beach; MVP: Ryleigh Elliott
MOST IMPROVED: Holden Stewart; MOST SPORTSMANLIKE; Avery Yarde; MOST DEDICATED: Zachary McKeachnie; MVP: Chace Minard.
MOST IMPROVED: Josh Rayner; MOST SPORTSMANLIKE: Brock McIlmoyle; MOST DEDICATED: Russ Stolec, Ryan Cranney; MVP: Jacob Fluney.
MOST IMPROVED: Jackson Kuhl; MOST SPORTSMANLIKE: Ronan Beyer; MOST DEDICATED: David Rouse; MVP: Ty Foster.
MOST IMPROVED: Jacob Lundgren; MOST SPORTSMANLIKE: Cal McLaurin; MOST DEDICATED: Wesley Grant; MVP: Adam Krueger.
MOST IMPROVED: Brodie King, Dominic Fizell: MOST SPORTSMANLIKE: Matt Majury; MOST DEDICATED: Reid Bisson; MVP: Hunter Bryan
U11 BOYS FIELD
MOST IMPROVED: David Bringleson; MOST SPORTSMANLIKE: Ty Foster; MOST DEDICATED: Josh Middlebro; MVP: Jacob Fluney.
U13 BOYS FIELD
MOST IMPROVED: Jacob Lundgren; MOST SPORTSMANLIKE: Keltan Berner; MOST DEDICATED: Lucas Harris; MVP: Ronan Helder.