Local youth makes Team Ontario for U15 national lacrosse championships

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local youth is gaining notoriety on the lacrosse field and his talents are leading him places.

The latest place that Connor McManus will be going due to his lacrosse talents will be the U15 national championships in Saskatoon. He will be leaving Aug. 31 and will return Sept. 4 and will be the goalie on Team Ontario.

The 15-year-old St. Thomas of Villanova student made the provincial team after three tryouts in the Toronto area. He was one of 14 goalies from across the province to try out, with that list being whittled down to four and then to two.

Connor said he felt “really good” about making Team Ontario.

“I found out at the last (tryout),” he said. “At some points, I didn’t think I was going to make it but towards the end, I knew I was going to make it. This is my biggest accomplishment so far.”

Connor McManus will be competing for Team Ontario at the upcoming U15 national lacrosse championships in Saskatoon. The Amherstburg youth will be competing with his teammates Labour Day weekend.

Connor McManus will be competing for Team Ontario at the upcoming U15 national lacrosse championships in Saskatoon. The Amherstburg youth will be competing with his teammates Labour Day weekend.

Connor plays box lacrosse in Canada with the Windsor Warlocks, which is five-on-five lacrosse in an arena. His father Rob noted there is no field lacrosse in this part of southern Ontario so Connor has to play in Michigan.

Rob noted Connor has the same coach on both teams – John Rosa – and that it was Rosa who encouraged Connor to try out for Team Ontario.

“He volunteered to play net on Juiced Cherries. That’s what started it all,” said Rob, with Juiced Cherries being the Michigan team Connor plays for. “He volunteered until we found a goalie. He didn’t leave.”

Connor said he was just trying to help his team out but now enjoys the position.

“The coaches said he is a natural,” Rob added.

Connor works with a goalie coach – Logan Shamblin from the University of Detroit-Mercy Titans – when he plays in the U.S. His Canadian team finished ninth in Ontario, Rob said.

Connor said he is nervous but excited to play for Team Ontario but added he is looking forward to playing for the team.

“It’s another big step in trying to get a scholarship,” his father added.

Rob said his son has worked very hard to get this far and that “it’s all him.” He added that Connor is the only player south of Hamilton to make Team Ontario. The cost to go to Saskatoon is $2,000 but that is covered mainly by local sponsors.

“Our town is getting bigger but we have a good core of people that support our local athletes,” said Rob.

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