HAGERSVILLE— Make no mistake, Team Ontario U16 Boys lacrosse coach Ryan Dejonge is serious about leading his team to another North American Indigenous Games gold.
On Sunday, March 1st. Dejorge was at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena where he was running the boys through what was the first of three tryouts for the upcoming summer games which are being played July 12-19th in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) and Milibrook First Nation.
“I’m not making any decisions based on today, I just want to see who has the drive and tenacity,” Dejonge said prior to the first tryout. “We’re serious about defending the gold.”
When asked what the perfect Team Ontario player would look like, Dejonge never hesitated before repying, “Someone who is well rounded and doesn’t quit. Someone who gives a hundred percent. Today, were going to do a lot of running so I can see who really digs deep. I want to see how they will react At the end their will be a scrimmage.”
A lasting immage from the 2017 Summer N.A.I.G. games was Team Ontario U16 male sqaud achieving the ultimate goal when on July 20, 2017 at the I.L.A. they were led by a five goal outburst from Gregeory Elijah Brown, as they defeated Saskatchewan 9-2 to win gold.
Among those hopefuls looking to wear Team Ontario colors this summer is 15 year-old Deeland Martin who was working hard and hoping to get noticed.
“I just wanted to play,” Martin said about trying out. In terms of what it would mean to him winning gold with the U18 Male Team Ontario team, Martin said, “It would be pretty good. I just like everything about it.”
Martin, who played last year for the Six Nations Midget 2 team, admitted to feeling a little nervous before taking the floor.
On this day, there were also tryouts being held for the defending N.A.I.G. gold medal lacrosse champions Male U-19 Team Ontario team along with the U-19 female Team Ontario squad who had a lot of talent on the floor.
Among those showcasing their talent during the U19 Female Team Ontario tryout was 15 year-old Six Nations Midget Girls player Kianna Thompson.
“It would mean a lot,” Thompson said about making the team and competing for gold in Halifax. “It would be an honor representing Team Ontario in Halifax.”
After being asked about her first tryout, Thompson just smiled before replying, “I just did my best. That’s all you can do. I got some good feedback and hopefully I have a good shot at making the team.”
Obciously there were no decisions made as their as still a couple more tryout sessions to go.