The Ridge Meadows Burrards lacrosse club won the pee wee A1 gold medal in Richmond over the weekend.
The Burrards handed the Nanaimo Timbermen a 6-4 loss in the championship game on Sunday.
“They’re a very unselfish group of kids, who really buy into the team mentality,” said coach Curt Malawsky of his Ridge team.
“There wasn’t a dry eye on the floor when we won, because we knew it was our last game together. They won with their best friends.”
Cody Malawsky was the Warrior Sports Canada Most Valuable Player, and Ben Coghill won the Canada Fair Play Award.
The younger Malawsky is a player with a high lacrosse IQ, who is able to make the teammates around him better.
Coach Malawsky said Coghill played a defensive role, and is probably the team’s most improved player over the season. One of his strongest attributes is good team play.
The coach also acknowledged Jack Kask, who was almost unbeatable in goal.
“But it took 20 of us to win it. Every player was significant to our success.”
All year long the teams to beat were Coquitlam, Nanaimo and Juan de Fuca, and the Burrards had to take on Coquitlam in the semi-final and Nanaimo in the championship game.
“We went right down Main Street,” is how Malawsky put it to his team.
They opened the tournament with a 7-1 win over Burnaby on Wednesday, July 20, and on Thursday beat Coquitlam 11-5 and Nanaimo 7-5. Friday brought a blowout 14-3 over Kamloops. On Saturday they kept their round-robin record perfect with an 8-5 win over Semiahmoo.
That evening brought a semi-final game against Coquitlam, and the Burrards beat the eventual bronze medallists by a score of 10-5.
In the final, the Burrards held a 6-1 lead going into the third period, and then managed the clock like pros.
Malawsky is also a professional coach, with the National Lacrosse League’s Calgary Roughnecks. He doesn’t need a break from lacrosse in the off-season – he enjoys working with the next generation of players.
“I love it. It’s different, because you have your son on the floor and a lot of your friends’ kids on the floor, and to see them win something they’ve worked so hard for, and win it with their friends – it’s pretty special.”
He also gave kudos to the Ridge Meadows association, which continues to produce great lacrosse teams every year.
“We’ve got a lot of great volunteers. It’s one of the biggest associations in the Lower Mainland, but they manage it so well.”
The team’s full roster includes: Ty Fisher, Ayden Lowe, Aiden McDonald, Jaxon Smart, Tenzin Nyman, Tommy Williams, Shane McKay, Dylan Doucette, Ries Bower, Brandon Landreville, Ben Gagnon, Karl Chenard, Jaden Laberge, Colby Makinen, Graysen Balatti, Ronan Balatti and Greyson Beggs.
Pee Wee B
Alex Smith of the Burrards pee wee B team also won a fair play award, and Kevin McConachie won an all-star
The B team opened wiht a 19-2 win over Richmond, but then lost 7-6 to Abbotsford and 4-2 to Juan de Fuca.