Local lacrosse players 12-year-old Gray Jensen, 13-year-old Ajay Hannigan, and 14-year-old Cayden Rollins won a gold medal at the Alberta Summer Games as a part of the Zone 2 U15 Lacrosse Team. Hannigan and Rollins are from Langdon, and Jensen is from Strathmore.
They took down Calgary in overtime, which felt especially nice since Calgary was the winner of the last 5 championship matches. When the ball hit the net in overtime, the boys said it was one of the most exciting sports moments for them.
"As soon as that goal went in, it was just so unreal. I've never experienced something like that, people storming the floor, people asking for pictures, it was just so cool," Hannigan said.
"When our teammate scored, it was pretty overwhelming," Rollins added.
The medal carried extra importance for Jensen, as he said it was his first gold medal so he was really excited to finally earn one after 9 years of playing lacrosse.
Being in an overtime situation against the champs could definitely be nerve-wracking for some, but Hannigan explained the team was able to keep their cool thanks to great coaching and trusting their ability and teammates.
"Keep doing our job if we're winning by 20 or if we're losing by 20, that's what our coaches said," Hannigan said.
Despite his young age, Jensen more than held his own, but he explained it was a bit intimidating at first when you have to go against older players.
"It's pretty scary at the start because I was the smallest person out there, but I got used to big players and I learned how to absorb the hits and all that. So it wasn't that bad, but at the start of the season it was pretty scary," Jensen said.
While winning gold was an obvious highlight of the games, Rollins said the time spent off the field with his teammates was also special for him.
"When I woke up yesterday or even today I just missed everybody. It's so weird not having them there, (you're with them) for like 3 days and just living with all of them. I'm going to miss them a lot," Rollins said.
"It was pretty cool playing a lot of talent and meeting new people. There was a lot of skill there and it wasn't an easy tournament, we had to keep playing hard the entire tournament," Jensen added.
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