Morgan Cross / News staff
The Peninsula Warriors Midget A lacrosse team defeated Coquitlam, North Okanagan, Langley, and Semiahmoo twice at the Langley Events Centre July 20-23, winning the B.C. provincial minor championship in the A2 division. Darrin Sanderson, former Victoria Shamrock and volunteer coach, said the team trained hard for the competition and pulled through with an unsurprising win.
“We always go into something like this hoping for the best. Anything less than gold would have been disappointing,” said Sanderson. “The boys sacrificed three nights of their lives and made it easy on us because they played so well. They absolutely left everything on the floor.”
Scott Bannister was assistant coach for the team of 15 and 16-year-olds, while local business owner John Ingram was manager.
Several weeks before, the team won the Island League and Play-Off Banners. Provincials marked the last tournament of the season, where the team went undefeated to win gold.
“It was nice for the graduating midgets. This was their last year,” said Sanderson. “These boys worked so hard, and to finish this way is awesome.”
Sanderson added that golds come few and far between. The Warriors have made it to provincials three times previously, coming home with bronze once and fourth place twice.
Several players on the team show promise for competitive lacrosse, Sanderson noted. Those include Luke Warmenhoven, who was determined the most valuable player in the Midget A2 division on a provincial level, as well as goalies Justin Geddie and Shaun Davidson.
“Both of the goalies were definitely the backbone of our team this season. The whole weekend, it didn’t matter who was in net. The boys were confident.”
As for Warmenhoven, Sanderson said, “The kid is phenomenal every year, but he stepped his game up in provincials. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t get drafted in the upcoming junior A draft.”
Making it to the provincials in the first place is cause for celebration.
“Winning gold,” Sanderson said, “is a huge accomplishment.”