Vernon’s Kaden Doughty will chase a loose ball anywhere on the lacrosse floor. He recovers most 50-50 battles and has a never-surrender attitude every shift.
Those traits made him a no-brainer choice for the Team B.C. Midget box lacrosse evaluators in Langley. Team B.C. is in the national championships, Aug. 6-13, in Whitby, Ont.
Head coach Lance Andre never had a clue who Doughty was until the trials. Now, he can’t say enough about the 5-foot-8, 155-pound buzzsaw.
“He’s a great all-around athlete,” said Andre, 47. “He worked his tail off and I told the kids going in that I would take a kid who works hard over a kid with talent who doesn’t work hard. You can’t teach heart and work ethic.
“He wasn’t even on my radar coming in, but he impressed all the evaluators. He’s one of those hidden gems.”
Doughty, a part-time Safeway employee who turns 16 on Aug. 24, is the only player from outside the Lower Mainland on the provincial team. He is already drawing interest from American college field lacrosse schools.
“They (Team Black evaluators) said I had heart and soul and liked how aggressive and fast I was,” said Doughty, a VSS student entering Grade 11 this fall. “I scored a few goals and I feel like I played really good every game.”
B.C. will face the Vancouver Junior Stealth in an exhibition game July 30 in Langley and get in training before the nationals.
There are seven Ridge Meadows products on the B.C. roster, another four from Langley and three out of Coquitlam. Kevin Brunsch of Langley is the assistant coach. Minor lacrosse teams are not allowed to restrict players to defence or attack positions.
“Everyone has a role and we’ve had four or five practices and Kaden fits in very nicely,” said Andre. “He will have a definite role.”
Doughty, who played and excelled at several positions in Midget House hockey last season, first tried lacrosse when in Grade 4. His older brother, Tiege, a rookie with the Junior B Vernon Tigers boxla team, played hockey with him.
“Casey (current Midget coach Sherriff) wanted me to play second-year Novice,” said Kaden. “Tiege started and I watched him and liked how fast and how rough the game was. You have to keep your head up. I go in my backyard a lot and work on shots and figure things out by trial and error. I also watch a lot of lacrosse on YouTube. I’ve been to one (pro league) Stealth game and it was a lot of fun. I would love to reach that level.”
Doughty plays field lacrosse in the fall and winter and was on an Okanagan entry for a five-game tournament in California last January. He was joined by North Okanagan stars Zack Gares and Caden Colmorgen.
Jacob Brewer, a Midget player in Vernon, will play for B.C. U16s at the North American Indigenous Games, July 16-23, in Hamilton. A total of 110 players tried out last August in Kamloops. Sherriff, who is Brewer’s step-father, was named trainer for the squad.
Stephane Richard of Vernon will play for B.C. U19 males, while Kiana Point of Armstrong is on the U21 female entry.