The Strathmore Venom Junior Lacrosse team is headed to the provincials on August 5 in Sylvan Lake!
After sweeping the Mountain View Stingers in the divisional tournament, the Venom earned the division title and will head to the provincials in Sylvan Lake. They'll face a steep challenge, as the undefeated Cranbrook Outlaws are their first opponent. The Venom already faced them twice, and even though they lost, the matches were close at 10-8 and 9-4 respectively.
While it won't be easy, Head Coach Lucas Bobbit feels confident his team will be able to pull off the upset and keep their provincial championship dreams alive.
"We've played them twice this year, and that's who we're looking towards. We've had close games with them so far and I feel they are beatable."
Bobbit says the team will have to take advantage of their athleticism to win this series.
"We're a very fast and athletic team and we have the kind of legs that other teams envy. So if my boys are playing a good motion offense and getting inside, we're going to score goals and win games."
Heading to the provincials is already a special accomplishment worth celebrating, but for Assistant Captain Chase Tweit and his family, there's even more to celebrate. Chase is one of three brothers on the team, as he is joined by his two younger brothers Cole and Brody. For Chase and his brothers, playing on the same team is an opportunity they don't take for granted.
"It's different, it's cool as well. You created the brother bond growing up and then to bring that to the floor, it's something else. You know when they're out there and you trust them and you know what kind of game they play because you watched them growing up your whole life. Its cool, all 3 of us on a line. It's different for sure but I enjoy it a lot," Chase said.
As Chase and the team prepares for the Outlaws, he says they just have to do what they know and the results will come.
"Stick to what we know, don't change anything because it's provincials. Obviously, we made it to provincials because we were doing something right and we were playing as a team and running the system that we know. I think if we just stick to that and we put in a full 60 minutes of effort the outcome will be what we want."
While the Venom are enjoying well-deserved success this season, it wasn't always this way. Just a couple of years ago the Venom were consistently at the bottom of the league, and as Chase put it, "easy to play against."
"I think the Venom has always had a reputation of being the team that is easy to play against or point nights for the other team. But I think this year we turned it around, with the core that we have this year, it's not like any other year. We finished first in the division and I think we're creating a winning reputation and a good atmosphere for the future of the program."
With a hard working dedicated team, Bobbit explains that this success was a long time coming. Even though the team is young, they have the heart and spirit to show up in big moments, and it's not the Venom team of old that was stuck at the bottom of the barrel.
"These boys have been working hard since our first weekend of training camp. They've been putting in the work. Everybody is showing up to practice, everybody is coming to games, and everybody is coming to games ready to play and ready to win. It makes you very happy to see that as a coach."
While the entire team put in the work to bring the Venom this far, Bobbit added the leadership of players like Captain Riley Gallant, Assistant Captain Quaid Burkholder and Tweit himself were really important in bringing this young team together.
Regardless of how the provincials go, there's no doubt this was a great year for the Venom. And with the whole team returning next year, Bobbit is looking forward to seeing this special group again to keep building a team we can be proud of.
"They're a special bunch this year for sure. We have nobody graduating this year so I'm happy to see them all again this year."
If you find yourself in Sylvan Lake and want to support your team and enjoy some high-quality Lacrosse, check them out on August 5 and 6!
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