Tanner Allan was honoured by Oceanside Minor Lacrosse with the Lukas Whibley Memorial Award.
The second-year midget field lacrosse player was surpised to be the recipient of the award, presented by OML president Cam Miller and box lacrosse head coach Terry Krastel, prior to the start of the Oceanside Buccaneers versus Victoria Titans game at Springwood Park on Saturday.
The award is in memory of Lukas Whibley, a member of the Oceanside Minor Lacrosse before he tragically passed away at the age of 18 in 2013. The trophy is awarded to a second-year midget player who best exemplifies integrity, leadership and sportmanship.
“I am honoured honestly,” said Allan. “Like I never see myself getting this award, ever.”
The Grade 11 Kwalikum Secondary student is very passionate about lacrosse. He doesn’t play any other sport.
Allan started in box lacrosse in Alberta and when he moved here four years ago he was introduced to field lacrosse and fell in love with it.
“I just love the intensity of the game, the speed of the ball, the running,” said Allan. “The whole sport, it’s just fun.”
This being his last year in the midget division, Allan, who turns 17 next month, looks forward to moving up in the junior ranks. He hopes Oceanside will have a junior B team this summer. If not, he plans to join a team in Campbell River.
Field lacrosse continues to be played in Parksville Qualicum Beach from early September to February.
It doesn’t matter how cold it is, there are some dedicated athletes like Allan who brave the elements.
Miller said they want to form more teams but at this time they can only have enough players for one.
“We struggle with hockey,” said Miller. “It’s a big sport so we can’t compete with that. We would like to see two to three more teams.”
Every year at the league board meeting, Miller said, they’re often asked if the are going to have a team. They recruit players from Port Alberni as well.
“We never know until the last day basically,” said Miller. “It’s not embarrassing but it’s a struggle.”