It was a big season for the U16 Oceanside Buccaneers Lacrosse team. The short-handed squad managed to do big things, including coming away with a bronze medal for their efforts at provincials.
The Buccaneers had a great group of players with all sorts of skill level. Holden Zaborniak, in his first lacrosse season ever, picked up a lot of skills and improved tremendously by the end of the season.
The Buccaneers weren’t short handed when it came to leadership. The team’s three captains, Jory Clermont, Ian Whibley and Erik Johnston, provided leadership on the field for the Bucs when the going was tough.
Shamus Koughan also chipped in as a leader and proved to be a great asset to the team.
Goaltender Shane Houtman, who had never played goal before, stepped up for the team and stood on his head all season, according to coach Derek Gaughan.
“Shane was great for us. He’d never even played as a goalie so for him to step up and take that on was huge,” Gaughan said. “He even got us a few shutouts which is really rare to see in the game of lacrosse.”
The Bucs big-stick defenders Cole Haider and Liam Lowery struck fear into the opposing offence all season, while left handed attack-man, Jesse Chiste had some moves like Jagger, leaving defenders on opposite teams feeling dizzy after he worked his magic multiple times through the season.
“A lot of those guys are moving on, as this was their last year to play field lacrosse, so it’s going to be tough to see them go,” Gaughan said. “But we’ve got some guys who will be leaders on this team for next season in Eric Thompson, Stirling McCullough and Taylor Hutchinson.”
Despite the Buccaneers’ small roster the majority of the season, they won the Island championship and the bronze medal at the provincials.
“Yeah, we had very low numbers on the team this year. But we had a wide range of talent on our team and that helped us have a very successful season,” Gaughan said.
“It was nice having both Evan Tuck out here to help coach when I wasn’t able to be there. We wouldn’t have been able to have the success we had if it wasn’t for him stepping up, as well as Cam Miller for filling in too when he did.”