Grade 10 Royal Bay student Dante Evans (right) drops off bottles during the lacrosse academy’s bottle drive on West Shore Parkway on Sunday. Money raised from the event goes towards sending players to tournaments. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Royal Bay lacrosse academies growing

Boys and girls programs see influx of enrolment

Royal Bay Secondary school’s boys’ and girls’ lacrosse academies have seen a boom in enrolment and show no signs of slowing down.

In the past two years since the boys’ academy began, it has grown from 17 junior and senior athletes to 85. While the majority of students are from the West Shore, a few come down from the Cowichan Valley as well.

Academy director and head coach Lucas MacNeil said the West Shore is a hot bed for lacrosse, much of which can be attributed to the success of the Victoria Shamrocks. “It’s just booming out here. It’s the fastest or second fastest growing lacrosse community in the province and when you look at Royal Bay and the facilities that we have, why wouldn’t you want to come here?” said MacNeil, adding students between grades 9 and 12 earn credits for the class, during which they learn on-field skill development, off-field strength and conditional, sports psychology and nutrition. “We just try and get these kids to play as many games as they can.”

RELATED: Royal Bay lacrosse coach pleased with results

The junior and senior squads have seen success in recent months, competing in tournaments in Seattle. In December, the seniors went 3-1 and the juniors lost in the semi-finals of a Seattle tourney. Locally, the junior and senior teams competed in the Spartan Shootout at Claremont Secondary, when the juniors went undefeated and the seniors went 2-2.

“The progress is there and the kids are starting to see what the outcome is of their effort and energy during the class,” said MacNeil, adding the academy gives players the opportunity to travel as well. “Traveling is a big part of learning. When you travel, you learn how to behave, you learn how to conduct yourself with you’re representing a school and a school district.”

Luc Gagnon, a Grade 9 student at Royal Bay, said he’s learned a lot during his last five months with the academy. “I love lacrosse and it’s a great academy. There’s great people to play with, a great coach,” said Gagnon, who also plays field lacrosse with the Victoria Titans and the West Shore Whalers. “You learn passing and catching and a lot of team play, what matters to the whole team and the importance of commitment to a team.”

For those interested in getting to know more about the program, Royal Bay is hosting an info night on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. Registration for the academy begins on Feb. 1 at 6 a.m.

RELATED: Girls field lacrosse academy likely coming to Royal Bay

Royal Bay’s girls’ lacrosse academy – one of the first of its kind in Canada – is also seeing success in its first year. Fifteen girls have registered for the academy and are “excited and eager” to learn and grow the game at the school and within the community, said academy teacher, co-ordinator and coach, David Sundher.

“We’re excited to develop our skills not only as individuals but also as a team, and maybe even some day send some athletes to post-secondary institutions in Canada and the U.S. to not only continue their education but also play women’s lacrosse,” he said, noting girls of all skill levels are welcome and will learn under a former Team Canada player.

Anyone interested in joining the girls’ academy can contact Sundher via email at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Some SD62 schools without emergency supplies

PACs want province to step up with funding

Jazz songstress Ellen Doty brings her sweet sound to Hermann’s Jazz Club

March 27 concert in Victoria part of national CD release tour

No injuries in single-vehicle accident on Sooke Road

Traffic moving slowly in both directions

McClure house fire saw Victoria firefighters utilize drone for first time in live situation

Aerial device feeds intel to crews to help formulate firefighting action plans

View Royal residents to see minor tax increase

The 0.92 per cent increase is significantly lower than what was projected

Submariners come home after 197-day deployment

Tears and laughter filled the jetty where emotional friends and family welcomed the HMCS Submarine Chicoutimi

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Charges formally laid against Nanaimo city manager

City of Nanaimo CAO Tracy Renee Samra charged with fear of injury/damage by another person

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Most Read