WINDSOR JUNCTION: Two local youth helped to key Nova Scotia’s victory at the 2017 Midget Box Lacrosse Championships, held in mid-August in Whitby, Ont.
Alex Bechard of Windsor Junction and Jake Barkhouse of Fall River were members of the team, which beat Quebec 6-4 in the championship final. Bechard scored the sixth Bluenose marker to secure the win. They also helped the province win the field lacrosse title.
“Its very special to me to have the success that my teams had,” said Bechard. “Nova Scotia lacrosse has not always been the strongest, so it’s neat that I was able to be a part of the success of both teams.”
“I’m just a kid from Fall River,” he said. “But I put in the work and it paid off in a huge way.”
The Nova Scotia squad had a tie and four losses in their first five games, before going on a four game winning streak to finish the tournament strong and come home with the B national championship.
Bechard, 15, and Barkhouse, 16, trained all winter with the provincial program and have been practicing since late April with the provincial box lacrosse team. Both boys also played on the U18 provincial field lacrosse team. It was Barkhouse’s first time on either team.
”It was a very busy summer, but I enjoyed the success my teams had. Its very cool to represent my province in both box and field lacrosse,” said Bechard.
The two both play box lacrosse and field lacrosse—where they won championship titles for the province.
There is a difference between the two. Box lacrosse is played indoors, usually in a hockey rink minus the ice, and is similar to hockey with five players and a goalie on the floor. Meanwhile, field lacrosse is played outdoors, on a field similar to a soccer field, with nine players and a goalie. While not as popular in Canada, field lacrosse is very popular in the US, especially in university.
Bechard, who was a co-captain of the U18 team this year at just 15, will be among those playing the sport south of the border as he heads off to New Hampton School in New England for Grade 10. He finished Grade 9 at Lockview High last June. He also played on the U18 team last year as a 14 year-old at the 2016 Canadian Field Lacrosse Championships, earning MVP honors in the first game.
“I’m expecting New Hampton to be a ton of work, but I’m looking forward to the experience,” he said. “I’m hoping that New Hampton will help me develop the lacrosse skills necessary to continue to play at the NCAA level.”
Barkhouse, entering Grade 11 at Lockview High, said it meant a lot for him to don the N.S. jersey.
“It meant a lot to me representing my province, I’m extremely proud of the boys with all the hard work we put in and seeing it all pay off,” said Barkhouse.