The 2016 Zone 7 season was a great success for all associations and referees. Our season started with our annual Coaches/RIC breakfast, where we had Dave Vernon as our guest speaker.
Our zone seen many great accomplishments this season with the introduction of our new Zone website that links all of our associations to one, a very successful Girls Fun Day, 12 National Team players, 1 National team coach, a very successful Zone Championship weekend, a very strong showing at provincials across the zone, an outstanding opportunity to have a Zone All Star Midget team in the U17 World Junior Lacrosse Championship, 7 A Teams, along with great tournaments in Sarnia and London. Our zone also saw growth in our second team numbers and level of play.
Our Zone 7 Referee’s left their mark across the province attending many tournaments and provincials, have strong showings. We continue to grow and support our referee’s. Keep up the great work!
Our annual awards were voted on and will be honored at our AGM in late October; Referee of the Year: Noah Young (Sarnia). With reffing 81 games from April to August, this young ref proved across the province his dedication and skill to the game. Noah attended the London tournament, Sarnia tournament, and Oakville A Tournament. He was drafted for Provincials at the Peewee/Bantam and Novice/Midget weekends. He seen games in all four divisions, and walked away with strong supervisions. He was also awarded the Bantam C Final, and the Novice A Final. Noah was chosen as the Referee of the Year not only for his on-floor achievements but also for his reliability, attitude and commitment to learning and growing his game.
Our Zone 7 Coach of the Year is Jason Fox (Wallaceburg). Jason’s Intermediate team received much feedback throughout the season on how well the team “behaved” and that they were a true “class act”. Many teams requested to play extra games against his team. Often times, at the age group and level of intermediate, games can get out of control. For the majority of the season, his team was acknowledged for their level of Professionalism. Jason also personally organized new “retro” jerseys for the team to celebrate the 10th year of Intermediate lacrosse in Wallaceburg. Jason also helped to coach the Paperweight Lacrosse team, as well as helped on the bench for the Intermediate Girls team. He also coaches Women’s Senior Lacrosse in Hamilton, and was selected to coach the U17 Team Canada team recently at the IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championships.
Our Zone Lacrosse Volunteer of the Year is Steve McDonald. (Sarnia) Steve puts in countless hours for lacrosse, he is our zone rep for our monthly meetings, zone awards rep., and he is our Vice president, helps coach the midget girl’s team, helps with the Herb Lea tournament each year and sends in our game sheets. You will find Steve at the arena a minimum four nights a week helping everyone that needs help whether or not he has the answer, and if he doesn’t he will find it for you in minutes. He makes sure if an email is sent he replies in a timely manner and is always eager to help in anyway to improve the game of lacrosse and to ensure each child that wants to play gets the chance to. With all the countless hours and dedication that Steve generously gives we believe he is the perfect representative for this award.
Our final award goes to our Zone 7 MVP. This year Griffin Salaris of Windsor was chosen. Two seasons ago, our Peewee Rep team went to Qualifiers, Griffin Salaris was a back-up goalie that didn’t start a game. When the 2016 season started the same 2 goalies were with the bantam team, Griffin was expecting to be #2 again. When the other goalie decided not to play this year, Griff became #1 and only goalie on the bantam team. With the bantam’s expecting to compete at “A” again there was a lot of pressure for a kid that hadn’t been there before. Griff responded by leading the team to an undefeated Zone season and a very competitive “A” tournament and Qualifiers season. His 4.94 GAA against the best teams in Ontario is a huge reason why the bantam team was able to compete at the “A” level.
We may be tough on each other but at the end of the day our zone is family and we stand together. I am very grateful to be part of such a great group of volunteers, players and parents. The heartbeat of our zone keeps ticking because of our passion, lacrosse is a way of life, not just a sport!
Zone 7 Director