Noal Grondin says he was shocked when he got the call.
“I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it,” the 12-year-old lacrosse player said of his selection to Team Ontario last month. “A lot of kids tried out.”
Grondin was among 20 players chosen to play for Team Ontario’s U13 Minor Box Lacrosse Team, following a series of intense try-out camps in the spring.
The lone rep from Sarnia will compete at the Lacrosse Canada E.G. Dopp Trophy National Minor Box Lacrosse Championship in British Columbia, next month.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this team,” said the Gregory A. Hogan student, who currently plays for the U13 Sarnia Pacers 1 team. That squad is competing in the Ontario Lacrosse Association’s U13 “A” qualifiers — the premiere division in Ontario — for a chance at a provincial championship.
“It’s very rare for a player to be picked from this region,” said Grondin’s coach, Shaun Kennedy. “So to get that kind of accolade, especially at that level, is incredible.”
Kennedy said he’s coached Grondin since he was little and isn’t surprised in the least.
“He’s big and strong and smart out there. He’s my go-to for ball control and being able to guide and lead the team. One of those kids that everyone looks up to,” Kennedy said.
“He’s also just an extremely great kid, a smart, polite, mature kid. He’s just always impressed me.”
Earlier this year, Grondin was part of the gold medal winning London Blue Devils U13A team, which won the Ontario Minor Field Lacrosse League Provincial Championships.
“I’ve been playing since I was probably three years old,” said Grondin, adding he developed a love for both lacrosse and hockey from his dad, Shawn. He also plays hockey in the Lambton Junior Sting organization.
He loves the tournaments, camaraderie and friendships the most, he said.
“Hopefully, I can make it pretty far. I’m just going to put in the work and see where it goes from there.”