Over the Labour Day long weekend, Cowichan Valley lacrosse sensations Mat Jung and Brian Robb travelled to Edmonton with Team BC for the U16 national field lacrosse championships, and returned home with silver medals.
Over five round-robin games and one gold-medal clash, and with both Quebec and the Iroquois nationals absent from the tournament, the only team that could compete with B.C., and the only team that was able to beat them, was Ontario. After a relatively close 9-6 win for Ontario in the round robin, the eastern team prevailed 12-3 in the final.
"They had like six players committed to colleges," Jung noted.
That was one area where B.C. couldn’t compare.
"We had a couple [college commitments]," said Jung, who is hoping to catch the eyes of U.S. college coaches himself. "A couple of other kids had to drop out at the last minute."
The losses to Ontario didn’t put a tarnish on the tournament as a whole.
"It was really fun," Jung said. "It was a good experience, too. We got to play with the best kids in the province, and getting to represent the province was pretty surreal."
Behind the top two teams, the rest of the provincial squads weren’t quite up to par.
"The competition, besides Ontario, wasn’t very good," Robb said. "They had really strong players."
Team BC boasted a balanced attack, including Jung on defence with a big stick, Robb at midfield, where he scored seven goals over the six games, and their former Cowichan Valley Thunder teammate Tyler Glanfield on attack.
"We were strong everywhere," Jung said. "We had good defence, good offence and good goaltending as well."
Team BC’s best game, the boys conceded, was probably against Manitoba.
"They weren’t very strong," Robb said. We just blew them away."
The boys will move up to the U18 age group next year, where they will be among the younger players in the age group, giving them a harder road to make Team BC. Robb plans to take a year off before trying out again, but Jung thinks he will give it a shot "just for the experience."
In the meantime, both players will be heading to the lacrosse academy at Claremont Secondary in Victoria once school resumes, while playing club lacrosse with the Mid Island Lightning.