Friday, March 18, 2011

Mimico gets Junior C team

The Mimico Minor Lacrosse Association announced that they've been
awarded one of the new OLA Junior C franchises and will begin play in May of 2011. 
The Team will play in the Central Division along with Clarington, Innisfil, Huntsville, Peterborough and Whitby.
Junior C commissioner Doug Luey was very pleased that Mimico was selected by the committee.
"It’s great to have Mimico in the fastest growing league in Canada and having them renew their rivalry with Clarington at the Junior C level is great for lacrosse,” the commissioner said.
The team will play out of Long Branch Arena with three games at Mimico Arena.
The team is owned by the Mimico minor system and is spearheaded by general manager Dan Atkinson. 
“To be able to give 23 or so more Mimico players a place to play high caliber junior lacrosse was the goal in doing this," Atkinson said. "This league is based on skill and speed." The Junior C league follows rules governed under junior and major lacrosse in Canada with one exception, and it’s a big one. 
“Fight and you’re out of the game," Atkinson said. "It brings the two leagues together in one. While still having all the excitement of junior and major lacrosse, this league holds onto the skill part of the game by forcing teams to play the game. If you fight, you’re gone just like in minor. It really showcase’s the skill of the players and of the game itself.”
Atkinson also, with help from the new minor executive put into place that all Mimico minor players, whether they are house league, rep, or field players will be admitted to each home game for free. They just have to wear their team jersey and they get in. For all other spectators, there is a $5 admission fee that goes to offset all the expenses the Junior C team has.
According to Atkinson, there was only one choice to be the head coach, Rob Hastings. 
“Rob and I spoke many times over the winter and discussed at great lengths where the game was now and what the ultimate goal was with this program," Atkinson said. "I was very happy when he agreed to take on this challenge.”
Hastings brings 32 years of coaching experience to the table at every level of the game and has been able to change along the way with game. 
“When I first started coaching, I was still playing and you played both ways (offence and defense)," Hastings said. "Through the years the game has evolved into what you see today. In some ways I love it because it brings constant flow when played properly, but another way, I really don’t like it because it pigeon holes a kid at too young of an age. To compete at the higher level in minor a team had to play offence-defense and that forced a coach to look at a players skill at say 14 and say, okay he hasn’t got the hands for offense, so he is a D guy.”
Hastings plans to utilize a combination of both styles of lacrosse with the Junior C team. 
“If a player can play at both ends of the floor, he has a much better chance at playing for me," Hastings said. "In turn, I believe it opens more doors for him in the future.”
Joining Hastings this year on the bench will be Don Gill and Cesar Parodi, who have coached with Rob for the better part of the last decade and Ernie Phillips who has coached in Brampton the last 14 years and has also worked with Rob. 
“We have over 150 years of experience between Dan and the coaching staff and I know I have a great group of coaches who will work well together," Hastings said. "The team is only as good as the team of coaches who runs it”
A combined camp is being held now by both the Junior B and Junior C teams. These winter camps are being held at Humber College (south campus). Sunday March 20, and runs from 1pm to 3 pm, and the following Sunday/ Players will be divided up into two groups for the last session before both teams head to Mimico Arena in the first week of April. Anyone not living in the city formally known as Etobicoke must get a “permission to run” from their home club.
Follow the Mimico Junior C at: and on point streak. The teams franchise and home opener will take place on Saturday May 7, 2011 when they play host to the Innisfil Wolfpack at Mimico arena. Game time is 2:00 p.m.

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