It’s Time For The Nationals, A Chat With Doug Clark of Team B.C.

Well it has been a very long Winter for those lacrosse enthusiasts (like me).  In the next few weeks, our lacrosse addiction will get served with the Provincial Championships for almost all ages here from August 1-10.  At the same time, we will be spoiled once again with the best Peewee and Bantam players from across Canada.

Over the next week and a bit, I hope to be able to speak with a number of the Coaches from across Canada about their team and the upcoming Fesitval.

Team British ColumbiaFirst up, I had the chance to talk with Doug Clark who is the Head Coach of the Bantam British Columbia squad. Doug is a mainstay in BC lacrosse and has been a regular contributor to the Festival as Head Coach of both Peewee and Bantam lacrosse teams from Bristich Columbia.

GM: What is the Team makeup from British Columbia? Is there a mix from across the entire Province?

DC: We have 20 players from 10 clubs across the province.
New West (2)
Coquitlam (3)
Langley (4)
Abbotsford (1)
Penticton (1)
Peninsula (island) (2)
Saanich (island) (2)
Semiahmoo (2)
Vancouver (1)
Burnaby (2)

GM: Do you have many returning players, or are most new to this event?

DC: 12 are returnees, and 8 are new.

GM: Have you had much time together as a Team practicing, or have you had any other activities?

DC: Training is always difficult to get done with a team of this nature, what with players home club commitments and travel issues, but we have managed to have two – two day camps thus far with our 3rd starting tomorrow (3day camp) . We have had a couple of team barbecues and will be having an alumni game before we leave against last year’s Team BC Bantams.

GM: What kind of Team will we see from Team BC in 2008?

DC: We do not have a whole bunch of flash this year, more a solid 2 way team that should be able to compete with the best of the rest of the country (we hope).

GM: Do you feel having your Provincials completed has any effect on your team (i.e. do you feel it helps or hurts you). Here in Ontario the Provincials are after the Festival.

DC: I think having Provincials finished already helps us-players are now able to focus on the Nationals which is a bonus; we got through it injury free (other than bumps and bruises of course) so we are pleased with that.

GM: Team British Columbia has always performed well each year of the Festival. With that comes higher expectations and a little more pressure to win. Do the Coaches and / or the kids feel that pressure, and how do they handle it?

DC: We do not feel any pressure; what’s going to happen is going to happen. We are hoping to get to the final and then see what happens (as we found out 2 years ago). I do believe if we can get to the big show our 12 players who have already lived that before will help in keeping all calm.

GM: You’ve been at the Festival a number of times now. Give us your thoughts on how it has maybe changed from your first time here.

DC: I find the Festival to be a tremendous experience for players, coaches, parents and fans alike. It is extremely well organized and well run; very little politics which makes for true sport. It seems to get better and better each year.

GM: Everyone knows Ontario and BC will always be competitive. Please give us your comments on the level of improved play from the other Provinces over the past few years.

DC: Iroquois is most definitely a huge threat at all levels, their skills are outstanding and their approach to the game extraordinary, nothing seems to faze them. They are always well prepared and ready.

Alberta is getting closer and closer to the next level. Big strong athletes learning the finer points of the game as the years go by; they’re definitely a threat as well.

Saskatchewan always puts a very competitive group of kids on the floor as well. Usually hard hitting and aggressive, they are getting better and definitely benefitting from the nationals format.

The balance of provinces still have some work to do but are getting better each time out which is great for the game.

GM: Where do you see the Festival in 5 years time?

DC: I am hopeful the festival will get bigger and bigger as the years go by.

GM: Doug thanks for your time and best of luck with Team B.C.

DC: Thank You

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