Marissa Jordan may be best known in these parts for her prowess on the ice, but it was the BC Lacrosse Association recognizing her at the female provincials in Nanaimo last weekend.
A trailblazer for local female hockey, Jordan, who turned 22 in July, also played boxla with the boys in Oceanside Minor Lacrosse for five years growing up, and spent her summers playing baseball with the boys and even made the Oceanside Rep team.
From there she went on to play four years with the Jr. Female Timbermen, and she just finished up her second season as a coach, her first as head coach.
Worth noting is Jordan and the Jr. Female T-men won the league title and went on to win the B.C.s in 2010.
Jordan, who fed the net at the forward position as she does in hockey, “was outstanding,” at the B.C.s that year, earning two Game MVPs and being named tournament MVP.
“It wasn’t really an award per se,” BCLA’s Shawn House said this week when The News caught up with him, explaining that as the chair of girls’ box lacrosse for the province part of his job is to help the host clubs in the running of the tournaments in an official capacity, “and part of that are the recognition ceremonies that are part of the weekend. What we do is after the round robin is completed we gather all the participants on the floor to recognize individual standout coaches, players, and officials for their contributions to the tournament that weekend and throughout the season.”
A veteran in the sport of lacrosse, House said he met Jordan three years ago “when she was still playing and when she was MVP at the provincials.”
“She was an outstanding player,” he said, and explained how after Jordan aged out of minor lacrosse “she went back to coach the younger levels. They were in real need in Nanaimo for a Midget girls’ coach (15-16 year olds) this year, and she stepped up — they only had six or seven girls committed, which is not enough for a team.”
In the BCLA, he explained, there has to be four zones represented to hold the B.C.s — there are three zones on the Lower Mainland, “but without Nanaimo there are no provincials for any girls (at that level) in B.C.
“So she managed, through her character and her reputation and her connections, primarily with the hockey girls, to muster up 18 girls — most of them who had never played lacrosse, but they were (multi sport) athletes. They were in tough,” he said, “because the girls they play against, the Salmon Bellies and the Adanacs, most of those girls have 10, 11 years under their belts, so yeah, they were on the short end of the score most games, and being the competitor she is, that wasn’t easy for Marissa, but she was able to rise above it.”
Jordan wrapped up her coaching debut with the Jr Girls T-Men last weekend in Nanaimo at the six-team provincial finals which they hosted (Ridge Meadows’ Burrards took the title), and it was there she was the subject of some special props.
“I just wanted to single her out so that everybody in attendance, and there were 500 people there if not more … I just singled her out publicly and wanted to acknowledge her contributions,” said House, explaining, “not only did she coach, but her and her dad (Phil) where helping out everywhere; 50/50 draws, concession … she volunteered all the time, whatever needed to be done, and she could be counted on to do it with a smiling face and a great attitude.
“She’s just a wonderful young lady, and we need more girls that are doing exactly what she’s doing,” he said, adding, “those Peewee girls, it’s way better for those 10 and 11 year olds to have a Marissa Jordan to look up to than, say, a Phil House.
“She doesn’t have a lot of experience coaching, but she has an innate ability to lead,” he said, and made the point, “we need to encourage more girls to put back into the game the way Marissa does, because she’s a phenomenal role model in my mind.”
Fast forward to today and the good-natured Ballenas grad is heading into her fourth year of the Recreational Management program at VIU.
In her third year she was named to the Dean’s list for having a GPA of over 3.67.
This summer she’s back where it all started at Oceanside Place overseeing kids programs for the RDN.