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Pair of Semiahmoo Rock alumni selected in first round of NLL draft

Patrick Shoemay and Jacob Dunbar drafted ninth, 13th respectively by San Diego Seals
Jacob Dunbar, a member of the Port Coquitlam Saints of the BC Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse League, was drafted by the San Diego Seals 13th overall in the NLL draft. (Photo courtesy of Paul Evans Photography)

A pair of former Semiahmoo Rock stars are headed for the professional ranks after being drafted in the first round of the National Lacrosse League draft – by the same team, no less.

Late last month, both Jacob Dunbar and Patrick Shoemay were both selected by the NLL’s San Diego Seals, with Shoemay, a defenceman, going ninth overall and Dunbar, who plays forward, going four picks later at 13.

Shoemay last played lacrosse with the NCAA’s Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as well as with the New Westminster Salmonbellies closer to home, while Dunbar is a member of the PoCo Junior Saints.

In order to move into position to pick Shoemay – a six-foot-four defender who, according to a news release, is “known for his tough, gritty style of play” – the Seals traded their 2022 first-round pick to the Georgia Swarm.

Shoemay sat out the 2020 season – which was limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic – while rehabbing an injury. It was suggested during the NLL’s live broadcast of the draft that the Semiahmoo Peninsula resident may have been drafted even higher had he not missed the season.

However, in an interview during the broadcast, the former two-sport star – Shoemay was a quarterback at Surrey’s Holy Cross Regional High School as a teenager – was unconcerned with what could have been, and instead said that he was “absolutely pumped” to be headed to San Diego.

“I think I definitely made the right decision (to sit out the season). With COVID happening, it’s not like I missed out on much,” he said. “At the end of the day, it didn’t matter when I got picked or where I got picked… I’m super-excited to play in San Diego – it’s such a great team and such an awesome city.”

Lacrosse broadcaster Teddy Jenner, who was part of the NLL’s live-streamed YouTube event, noted after Shoemay was picked that “he was one of the best defenders every year in the B.C., junior league.”

“He is big, he is rugged, he is going to fit in (with the Seals) as a prototypical National Lacrosse League defender,” Jenner continued.

Dunbar – who was selected by Port Coquitlam sixth overall in the 2018 BC Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse League draft – is a few years younger than his fellow draftee, but has quite an impressive resumé during his time with the Saints. This past season, he led the BCJALL in goals-per-game, with 50 goals and 13 assists in 15 games.

In 2019, he scored 27 goals and added 32 assists in 18 games played.

He also played for Canada at the 2019 International Indoor Junior Lacrosse world championships, which were held in Ontario.

The Seals had three first-round picks in this year’s draft; with the fifth overall pick, San Diego chose Ontario’s Mike McCannell out of New York’s Stony Brook University.

The selections of Shoemay and Dunbar bring to seven the number of Semiahmoo Rock alumni who have been drafted into the NLL in recent years, joining Tre Leclaire (fourth overall to San Diego in 2020); Sam La Roue (18th overall to Buffalo in 2020); Adam Dickson (23rd to Calgary in 2018), Carter Dickson (45th to Calgary, 2018) and Spencer Bromley (48th to Saskatchewan, 2016).

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