Ben Neeb – Minor Star Of The Week July 29 / 2007

With the second round of the OLA Provincial Qualifiers taking place this past weekend in Whitby, there were thirty-nine teams of Peewee, Bantam and Midget aged players all giving their best efforts to finish within the top six teams of their divisions, so that they may continue their lacrosse season in Guelph, Ontario on the weekend of August 17-19 / 2007.

I had the fortune of not only competing (as a Coach), but had the pleasure of witnessing a number of great games. Within those games is where I found my own nomination for this weeks “Minor Star Of The Week”. Even though I have a little say in the decision of who wins it anyway, I brought Bernice in to check out my nominee on Sunday afternoon in action; and he did not disappoint in the least.

Ben Neeb is a goaltender for the Oakville Hawks Peewee team. I have to admit, I have a great deal of admiration for a lacrosse goalie of any age, due to the amount of equipment they wear and the (sometimes) stifling conditions in which they must wear it. Then they have to stay in a net and get balls thrown at them.  This weekend was just one of those weekends.

Ben’s team has played most of this season as a “B” rated team, and only after appealing to the OLA, were they granted the opportunity to compete in the “A” qualifiers to try to reach the Provincials as mentioned above. In the first weekend of seven games Oakville came out with a record of 3 wins and 4 losses. Going into this weekend they were not really “expected” to advance (ok, I’ll admit I was one of those who did not think it could happen).  In front of them were games against Orangeville, Whitby, Peterborough, Guelph, Clarington, and Halton Hills. All six of these teams are well developed “A” centers and all but Clarington and Guelph ultimately advanced.

Oakville ripped off wins against Orangeville, Whitby, Peterborough, and Guelph before losing their only game of the weekend to Clarington, and finishing with a tie against Halton Hills.  Needless to say they advanced!

What really makes this a special accomplishment is that Ben is the only goalie that Oakville has.  Over the course of their wekeend he played all six games, and play he did.  He inspired his team with a number of highlight reel saves at critical moments, allowing his team in some cases to march down to the other end and score.  He also was out of his net almost as much as he was in it, as a support for his mates when needed.  In our game (Whitby) against Oakville he and his team mates successfully killed off a five on three Power Play for close to three full minutes (two four minute checking from behind penalties).  Oh, and they also scored twice in the last minute and a bit to get the win.

To acknowledge the hard work of the entire team, on Sunday we presented each of the Oakville players with a Lacrosse Inside The Game wristband, and for his great weekend in net, Ben also received an LITG T-Shirt, which we caught a picture of him wearing.

Our congratulations, to the entire Oakville team / staff, and particualrly Ben on a fabulous weekend of lacrosse.  We also wish them all the best of luck in August at the Provincials (I did mention I would only not be rooting for them when they play us). 

Marksy

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3 Comments

  1. I coached Marc Thomas Nano from 1994-2002 who is now the Junior A goalie for the Mississauga Tomahawks. Back in Peewee MTN was the MVP and All-star selection for the Peewee A Provincials. I thought he was the best goalie I ever had until I met Ben in the spring of this year when I was brought in to help the Oakville Peewee coaching staff. Ben is a special player who is eager to learn and is incredibly competitive. I know he’s got a ton of growing in him. I expect him to be the next McCready to re-revolutionize the offensive goaltending threat.

  2. As a peewee parent who witnessed the great lax over the 2 qualifier weekends I can attest to the importance of this little guy to his team.

  3. Congratulations Ben,

    I haven’ t seen you play, however, it sounds like you have inherited the Neeb genes for goaltending.
    Growing up I used to play against your father, him on Erindale and I on Clarkson, we always had great battles and I always had trouble getting the ball past him.
    As we got older we joined forces in junior “C” and because of Bob’s exceptional play we went on to win the Ontario championships. I think your father had a wonderful tropical fish dinner at the coaches house afterwards as well.
    Keep up the good work, and say hi to your dad.


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