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Young lacrosse players move up to larger stage

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Barry Wright

Brayden Bell has played lacrosse every summer from the age of three, but the 17-year-old was going to pass this season to concentrate on football instead.

But a training camp with the Toronto Beaches Junior “A” lacrosse club reignited his passion for the game. As a result, the 6’4”, 220 lb. goaltender could find himself participating in the International U-19 Indoor Lacrosse Festival at Six Nations.

He’s been approached by German officials to play for that country at the Sept.11-13 event, which will feature up to eight teams from around the world, including Canada and the United States.

“(Germany) can bring in so many players who aren’t German,” said Bell, noting that the European squad is looking for a goalie.

“If the option (of playing) was available to me, I’m definitely going to take it.”

He should know by late August.

A chance on the international stage comes after Beaches was eliminated in four straight games by Brampton in the first round of the OLA Junior “A” playoffs.

The Sarnia minor lacrosse and Point Edward Pacers product appeared in two post-season games after posting a 2-2-1 record during five regular season appearances in his rookie campaign. He also had seven assists during the regular season and playoffs combined.

Never having been a back-up goalie before, he needed to adjust his mental approach while on the bench, he said.

“It was different and kind of hard at first. But you’ve got to be there for your teammates, no matter what the circumstance is.”

He said the difference of playing at the highest level of junior lacrosse is game speed and the seriousness of players, coaches, referees and game officials.

Another Pacer product, Cory Burr, split his time between Point Edward and Beaches this season. It was his second campaign after being a second round selection by Toronto in the 2014 OLA Midget draft.

“It’s a lot quicker up here,” he said. “The guys are bigger, more skilled and faster. You can’t take a day off.”

Burr had eight goals and three assists in 12 regular games with Beaches and added three more goals in the playoffs.

“I’ve been really happy with my playing time,” he said.

He also played 14 games with Point Edward, registering 23 goals and 41 points.

As for the rest of the summer, Burr is considering returning to play another season with London of the Ontario Junior Men’s Field Lacrosse League.







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