The Westshore Bears won bronze at the provincial championships, hosted by the Bears at The Q Centre. (Photo courtesy of Cathy Kozina)

Westshore Bears take home bronze at provincials

A young Bears team can hang with the more experienced squads

The Westshore Bears beat Coquitlam 9-6 to win bronze at the provincial championships at The Q Centre over the weekend.

In their first game, the Bears lost to the Cowichan Thunder 6-5, a familiar foe they fell to in the Island championships. The Bears tied Coquitlam 10-10, and then lost to Port Moody 9-6 in their third game.

Ken Alexander, assistant coach for the Bears, said the motivating factor for the team in their final game to push for bronze as it was the last year of junior lacrosse for about five of the players.

Alexander said the Bears played well this season, there were no blowouts and all the games were close, despite the Bears having a fairly young team.

“My whole family is very proud of all our players,” he said. “The players played really hard, to play four games in a time span is a lot of lacrosse.”

A family-run organization for 15 years, Alexander’s wife is the Bears’ manager, his son, Ryan, is the head coach, and at one time his daughter was the trainer.

The provincial champs, Cowichan Thunder, are losing a dozen players next season who are ageing out.

“We’re a very competitive team with them, we give them a run for their money,” Alexander said. “It was great to see the older guys carrying the torch and the younger guys following in their footsteps.”

This year marked the fourth year the Westshore Bears have hosted the provincial championships and Alexander said he is grateful to the support from volunteers who help run the tourney.

“We had an exceptional group of volunteers,” he said. “Most things in any sport won’t get along without volunteers.”

He said a lot of volunteers are ex-coaches or ex-players of the Bears that hear about the team hosting the tournament and call Alexander to see if they can help out.

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