Going into B.C. High-School Lacrosse Provincials this past week in Vancouver there was only one option for the Victoria based Claremont Sr. Grade 12 team who play out of the Claremont Sports Institute’s Lacrosse Academy and that was to bring home the gold cup. These provincials were the culmination of 4 years of being part of a program that has helped shape these high-school students not only into better lacrosse players but also into young men.
The Claremont Sports Institute’s Lacrosse Academy is headed up by Claremont Athletic Director Darren Reisig and Chris Mckay who are both former Victoria Shamrocks and have NLL accolades on their resumes. Reisig and Mckay run a program that not only offers players the chance to improve their lacrosse skills but to secure coveted NCAA scholarships to play field lacrosse in the United States. The players have to learn to balance their academics and athletics as many players have the opportunity to travel to several tournaments that are known to be heavily attended by NCAA scouts. The Claremont Lacrosse Academy has earned the unofficial title of the “Best Program in Western Canada” for a reason with two notable Claremont Academy graduates being Team Canada players Jesse and Marshall King.
Provincials is one of the tournaments where all Claremont players have the opportunity to travel and play. Four Claremont teams -two equally divided Jr. teams, a grade 11 and a grade 12 Sr. team made the trip over to Vancouver on Wednesday to all play in the Tier One Division. The Senior Team knew going into provincials that last year’s Sr. Provincial Champion’s Centennial High School coached by U-15 Team B.C. Coach Ian Radonich would be the team to beat.
Claremont’s Brayden Brown and Colton Lidstone were coached by Coach Radonich last year as Team B.C. players where Radonich was assistant coach for Team B.C.’s U-18 team who brought home the Silver Medal at the 2016 Canadian Nationals in Winnipeg. Brown and Lidstone know that he is a great coach and would have a team to be reckoned with but the entire Claremont Grade 12 squad was up to the challenge.
Claremont’s grade 11 team was in the same Tier One Division as the grade 12’s and after round robin play went into the semi- finals on Friday where they played Centennial and suffered a loss of 10-5 knocking them out of the tournament. The Claremont Grade 12’s eliminated New Westminster High School by a score of 9-2 in the semi’s paving the way for them to take on Centennial (who has Team Canada Player Thomas Semple on its roster) in the final.
Playing just before the Senior Tier 1 final (held at Charles Best High School) was the Jr. Tier 1 final which pitted Claremont Jr. Team 1 vs Claremont Jr. Team 2. In a very hard fought great game –Jr. Team 1 won by one goal with a 7-6 final score. The Claremont Jr’s brought home both the Gold and Silver Cups which is kudos to a great Claremont program.
The Senior Tier 1 Final also played at Charles Best High School in less than ideal weather conditions started out with 2 quick goals by Claremont showing Centennial that they meant business. Claremont played a solid game that after 4 quarters had them securing the provincial gold cup with a final score of 15-8 over Centennial. There was no better way to end their high school lacrosse career than by bringing home provincial gold.