By Cheryl Brown
June 4, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Topaz Park was a flurry of activity Wednesday as BC’s Best hosted the top 150 high school field lacrosse players in the province, along with 25 coaches representing colleges from all across the U.S., in what can be easily described as Western Canada’s premiere invitational lacrosse showcase.
Ty Yanko (centre) of Charles Best High School in Coquitlam is chased down by two unidentified team black defenders at the BC’s Best Showcase Wednesday at Topaz Park in Victoria (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The organizers, Claremont Coaches Darren Reisig and Chris Mckay reach out to coaches and program directors across B.C. to identify which of their top players would benefit from exposure and send those identified an invitation to attend.
Claremont’s Grayson Jacobsen (right) looks to avoid the check from Terry Fox’s Joel Edgar (left) during scrimage Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
For most of the grade nine players in attendance, this is the very first time they will have the opportunity to exhibit their talent and skill to College Coaches in hopes of securing a college scholarship by the end of their high school career.
Claremont’s Alec Molander (right) gets ready to put a move on Charles Best’s Connor Frost (left) at the BC’s Best Lacrosse Showcase Wedneday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
For players vying for a scholarship, exposure is key. They could rely on sending game tapes highlighting their play to college coaches, but attending recruiting camps are the best way for the coaches to get a real sense of the player’s style and strengths. Having a camp right at home in B.C. not only saves on major travel costs, but at $125 per player, is by far the best value you will find for a high caliber camp like B.C.’s Best.
Last year some grade 11 & 12’s received offers from schools at the end of the day and others within a week. This shows how successful this camp is when there are approximately 10-15 scholarships given out to B.C. field lacrosse players every year. More importantly this forum helps the players establish contacts and relationships that can prove to be beneficial down the road.
Coquitlam’s Robert Hofseth looks for a route upfield during a scrimmage at the BC’s Best Showcase on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
It was clear that many of the players were nervous as they took the field to warm up and start drills but by late morning the jitters had worn off and spectators and college coaches were treated to some fast pace lacrosse coached by past scholarship recipients Jesse King (Ohio State), Matt Hamilton (Providence), Jake Cullen (Albany), McLean Chiquen (Stonybrook) & Brock Thompson-Marshall (UDC)
Parents and local coaches watched from the perimeter of the field hoping that their child/player would shine today and catch the eye of one of the coaches who, clipboards in hand, were sitting in their Canadian Flag adorned chairs in a line separating the two turf fields.
Nanaimo’s Chase Anderson participates in some warm-up drills at the BC’s Best Lacrosse Showcase Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
This year, the 25 coaches in attendance represented some of the elite field lacrosse schools in the U.S. including Ohio State, Denver, Penn State, Rutgers, High Point, Delaware, St Josephs, Yale, Albany, Bellarmine, Cornell, Mercer, Marquette, Drexel, Furman, Maryland, Michigan State, Robert Morris, University of Massachusetts, Stonybrook, Pheiffer, Tusculum, Mars Hill, Wingate, and John Carroll University.
Claremont Coach Brian Spaven who is always a wealth of lacrosse knowledge was on hand to share trivia about the college coaches and pointed out that Coach Matt Brown (University of Denver) and Taylor Wray (St. Joseph’s University) are both Canadians out of Burnaby who will be coaching the 2014 Canadian National Team at the World Lacrosse Games in Denver this July.
Coaches Matt Brown (University of Denver, left) and Taylor Wray (St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, right) were just two of twenty-five U.S. College coaches in attendance at the Showcase Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
At the end of the long day of one-on-one drills and several games per player, Ohio State Coach Nick Myers addressed the clearly exhausted young men telling them that their academic achievements are just as important as their lacrosse skill and not to lose sense of that when setting goals for their lacrosse futures.
The players looked genuinely pleased to hear Coach Myers state that he looks at 5000 players every year but he finds the best talent right here in Victoria at B.C.’s Best. Kudos to Coaches Reisig and MacKay for making this 5th Annual B.C.’s Best a huge success.