July 16th, 2024

Pioneers exceeding expectations as season winds down

By Lethbridge Herald on June 20, 2024.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Pioneers Senior C lacrosse team wrap up its first season after a six-year hiatus  this weekend with the feeling of exceeding expectations as well as more to build on for the future of the program.

“We’ve honestly exceeded our own expectations, and I think a lot of that’s just from the team bonding that took place and the chemistry coming together a lot quicker than we thought,” said Adam Arnold, Pioneers head coach.

What helped the program along this season was player commitment.

“There’s an eagerness to just compete this year and yeah like I said, (in) the first year, there’s always some growing pains, but we didn’t want that to be an excuse for not being competitive,” said Arnold.

“We knew the big obstacle would be the commitment portion and we had a lot of guys just show up and put in the effort and we’ve had a successful season because of that.”

Playing a full game was the biggest learning curve for the team.

“The first couple periods were always strong and then it might’ve been a conditioning thing or maybe just some game plans that needed to be implemented a little bit better,” said Arnold.

The Pioneers found out that they’re a team that battles no matter who the opponent is.

“Every game we feel like we got a chance to win (and) we’re going to make the other team earn it even if they’re going to beat us,” said Arnold.

Nathan McMurray has been a player to watch this season with him being the top point producer for the team with 17 goals and 11 assists.

“He’s I guess you could say a generational talent,” said Arnold.

“(The) kid’s got so much skill and even more heart and passion for the game.”

The Pioneers will play the Airdrie Mohawks at home in Coaldale on Saturday at 4 p.m. before wrapping up the season on the road against the Calgary Bears on Sunday.

Lethbridge has a record of 3-6 and are in fourth place in their division and will need help to get into one of the top two positions for playoffs.

Saturday’s Pioneers game and the Junior B Tier 1 Southern Alberta Rockies game  at 7 p.m. will recognize the 10th annual Cindy Garant Memorial event at the Coaldale Sportsplex.

A barbecue, silent auction  and a 50/50 will take place from 3-9 p.m. will all the proceeds  going to the Cancer Society.

Garant was a steady contributor to southern Alberta lacrosse before passing away from breast cancer in 2011.

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