Team Ontario Gearing Up For National Titles Pt.2

Interview with Coach Derks:

GM: Having been through a Bantam Nationals a few years ago, is there anything that you feel you learned that has helped you with this year’s team?

CD: I would say the main thing is that you need to select the best TEAM not necessarily the best players, remember you only have one ball and we can’t all have it! Other than that one of our main objectives is to give everyone an opportunity to showcase their individual and team skills. The players are already under great pressure to perform and represent their own association’s well they don’t need more pressure; just direction which I hope we can provide.

GM: How much time have you had together as a team, and are you pleased with where they are at this point?

CD: We’ve had about twenty hours together so far and no I am almost never pleased with where we are at. There would not be enough hours in a full season of practices to get to that level.

GM: What kind of Bantam Team Ontario will people hopefully see next week?

CD: Hopefully, they’ll see a run and gun type of team with a strong focus on defence thrown in. We have eighteen runners and plan to play everyone in our earlier games to give them all a chance to step up.

GM: Have you had any insights as to any other teams, in particular Team Iroquois and B.C.?

CD: No we’ve not had any direct insights other than who their players and coaches are and where they are coming from. This gives me a bit of insight into what style of play we should expect from them.

GM: Describe the atmosphere if you can surrounding the team and staying in the residence.

CD: This is one of the best parts of the event here. The players will be able to get to know each other and the coaching staff away from the arena. It is my experience that in later years some of the things that players will remember the most about this competition are events that happen away from the arena.

GM: Do the kids / staff have any feeling of pressure to win and if so, what do you do to help them deal with that?

CD: This is a National Championship and we are a Provincial Team so I would be quite upset if we didn’t have pressure to win. It’s not something we will do at all costs but it is definitely one of our main objectives. To ease this pressure a bit we will be doing various non-lacrosse team activities during the week. We will also try to establish a successful game plan that we all can believe in and follow.

GM: Who should Ontario fans be watching out for that have really impressed you so far?

CD: This is a hard question to answer I would say that every time we have been together different players have stepped up and shown us some really good stuff. This was perhaps best highlighted by the fact at our last practice the players voted for our C’s and A’s. Fourteen player’s received votes this indicates to me that the players also see different people stepping up and taking charge at various times. This bodes well for our team.

GM: Thanks for the time and good luck next week. I know fan support will be great for you.

CD: Our WHOLE team can’t wait for the Championship to start. We are all looking forward to being pushed to play and coach at the highest level possible. We also are looking forward to support from the sixth man and hope that all Ontario lacrosse fans will come out and cheer us along.

Gary, Thank you for this opportunity to discuss this year’s Bantam Team Ontario. Hopefully, we will talk again later as the week progresses to report how things are going with our team behind the scenes.

GM: Absolutely.

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