Page 36

Page 36 PONOKA NEWS

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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Ponoka lacrosse celebrates 10 years By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye Lacrosse in Ponoka is on the verge of a 10-year anniversary and organizers intend to celebrate in style. Both Lacombe and Ponoka players are a part of Lacoka Lacrosse, says Wes Amendt, public relations director and head coach for the junior team. Composed of approximately 60 per cent of players from Lacombe, 30 per cent from Ponoka and five per cent from the surrounding area, almost all the teams are going to play at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex April 26 to 28 with festivities on Saturday. Looking back at the past 10 years Amendt is most proud of their growth. “It’s been overwhelming really.”

“A lot of kids after the end of hockey are just chomping at the bit to play lacrosse” -Wes Amendt

Their first year brought a lacrosse camp to the area and a peewee and bantam team started playing some exhibition games. Then in 2004 the Central Alberta Lacrosse League was formed with only a few players. Now almost 160 kids play with two novice teams, two peewee teams, one bantam team, two midget teams and one junior team make compete all around the province. “Our organization, when you compare it to the province, is one of the fastest growing,” added Amendt. Not many people realize this but lacrosse is Canada’s oldest and official summer sport. Kids usually enjoy working together as a team and also the fast pace of the game. “I think it’s an opportunity for kids that enjoy the physical aspect of the game,” said Amendt. “A lot of kids after the end of hockey are just chomping at the bit to play lacrosse.” He credits their growth to being well organized group and he is seeing kids who have aged out of the game give back by helping coach the younger kids. Games over the anniversary weekend will have the

Lacoka’s Ethan Quance grimaces as he takes a hit from a Blackfalds player April 16 at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex. Lacoka Lacrosse is celebrating its 10th anniversary April 26 to 28. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye midget B team start at 6:30 p.m. and then the junior team will follow after at 8 p.m. The next day will feature a banner raising ceremony at 2 p.m. for the midget and peewee teams who won provincials last year. While teams play on the large floor surface, the mini-tykes and tykes teams will play games on the smaller ice surface over the weekend. Teams are going to show their support for Lacoka lacrosse by wearing their

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other in hockey end up being on the same team in lacrosse. They create long-standing friendships with each other. The first half of the season is held in Ponoka and then switched to Lacombe. “As an association we’ve got a good thing going,” stated Amendt. He is proud of the support from businesses and from parents and feels everyone involved wants to see the organization grow.

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team colours. The momentum is continuing for Lacoka, last year the group hosted Lacrosse provincials and organizers have been asked to host this year again, said Amednt. “The response from across the province was that we did such a good job.” He likes the team atmosphere with Lacombe and Ponoka being a part of the teams as well. Players who compete against each

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Ponoka News, April 24, 2013  

April 24, 2013 edition of the Ponoka News

Ponoka News, April 24, 2013  

April 24, 2013 edition of the Ponoka News