Bearcats box lacrosse is finally back
RICHARD MACKENZIE TRURO NEWS richard.mackenzie @saltwire.com
Bearcats’ lacrosse finally returns PICTOU, N.S. - It was finally game day for Truro Bearcats lacrosse teams after one full season loss to COVID and another that teetered on the edge. “There was a lot of thinking outside the box, no pun intended,” volunteer Tina Macneil said, box being the official name for the version of lacrosse played in indoor arenas as opposed to field lacrosse. “It was a lot of creativity, patience, and cooperation.” The Bearcats played their first games since 2019 July 14 at the Hector Arena in Pictou. In U-13 action, the Pictou County Snipers won 9-1 while in U-17 play, the Bearcats took revenge by the count of 12-3. Having U-13 teams is one of the modifications for the Bearcats, Snipers, and the other Scotia Minor Lacrosse League (SMLL) association, the Valley Thunder, to ensure there is some semblance of a season in 2021. “Normally, we would have U-10, U-12, U-14, and U-17, but we don’t have those numbers anymore,” Macneil said. “So what we’ve done is we’ve divided them up into U-13 and U-17.” The Valley did have enough players for a U-10 entry and in upcoming action, Truro and Pictou will combine their players of that age group to take on the Thunder team. Cape Breton, another entry in the league, wasn’t able to get set up at all this season. “It has been a challenge,” Macneil said. “Normally, lacrosse is done by the end of June and that is one of your selling points to parents; that your summer is your summer. So with some people not comfortable because of COVID, and the season going into the summer, right across the board we all lost about half of our registrations … around 40 to 50 kids.” But a group of players and parents persevered and were finally rewarded with game action. “Yeah, it was a hard year and a half,” Macneil’s son Mason, who plays on the U-17 Bearcats, said. “But it was pretty good. We had some hard practices and it paid off with a win.” Mason is grateful to his mom and the other volunteers and parents who have plugged along, despite all the uncertainty and forced change of plans. “There have been a lot of Zoom calls, meetings, and the parents have been really patience and understanding,” Macneil said. “They get it, they just want their kids to have a chance to play.” She added they’ll continue to do what they need to in order to get at least six games in when, normally, it would be eight to 10. “If we have to practice outside, we’ll practice outside. Not travel as much or travel more, it’s everything we can do to make sure the kids are playing, we’re doing.” To follow Bearcats’ lacrosse, visit their website, tbla.goalline.ca, Facebook page, or Instagram. For SMLL information, go to smll.ca .