Saturday was a day to remember for the Semiahmoo Rock, and especially so for midget star Sam La Roue, who was selected first overall by the Burnaby Lakers in the BC Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse League draft.
La Roue’s first-overall selection highlighted a record day for the Rock, which had nine players selected from its top midget team – beating the association’s previous record of six draftees. The previous high-water mark was achieved each year from 2014 to 2016, as well as last year.
La Roue’s top billing is also just the second time a Rock player has been chosen first overall in the BCJALL draft; in 2015, Tre Leclaire went first overall to the Delta Islanders.
In addition to La Roue, other Semiahmoo Rock players selected Saturday included a pair of second-rounders – Peyton Hooper, who was selected 15th overall by Delta, and William DeBeck, who went one pick later to Burnaby. In the third round, at 17th overall, Semi’s Jaden Leach was drafted by Burnaby, followed by Dylan Baker, who went 18th overall to the New Westminster Salmonbellies.
In the fourth round, Burnaby selected two more Semiahmoo teammates – Ryland Sorensen was chosen 25th and Adam Mandau 27th. In the fifth round, Cam Newson was chosen by New West and in the sixth round, Isaiah Edwards rounded out the Semiahmoo selection after being picked 41st overall by Burnaby.
The Surrey Lacrosse Association was also well-represented in the draft. In the second round, 11th overall, Ryder Bremner was chosen by Port Coquitlam; Braiden Reid was picked by Langley in the fourth round, 26th overall; Austin Taggart was picked in the fifth round by New Westminster in the fifth round and three more Surreyites rounded out the sixth-round: Ethan Wellman by Port Coquitlam, Zander Gould by Delta, and Arizen Matthews by New West.
At the conclusion of Saturday’s draft – which was held at the Langley Events Centre – a post on the Semiahmoo Rock’s website said “Congratulations and good luck to those players drafted! Make us proud!”
All nine players were members of a Semiahmoo midget team coached by Rob Baker.
La Roue, an Earl Marriott Secondary student, is a multi-sport athlete; in the fall, he was a key member of the school’s varsity football program, playing quarterback, running back and receiver on offence, and safety on defence. In October, EMS head football coach Michael Mackay-Dunn told Peace Arch News that he has “coached long enough to know a top player when I see one. It’s easy to spot those kids – it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see how good Sam is. I’ve coached a lot of players over the years, and he’s definitely one of those special athletes.”
“I don’t know if he’s the top athlete I’ve ever coached, but he’s pretty darn close,” he continued.
With the Lakers, La Roue will suit up alongside his older brother, Francis ‘Butch’ La Roue, who was acquired by Burnaby last month.
Newson, like La Roue, is a multi-sport star on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. The fifth-round pick is currently starring on the ice for the junior ‘B’ White Rock Whalers of the Pacific Junior Hockey League. Next hockey season, the 16-year-old is expected to move up to the junior ‘A’ or major-junior ranks.
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