Surrey Lacrosse Association president Sean Reid (left) and wife Angie (right) with their kids Leland, Cameron, Evan and Taya. (submitted photo)

Surrey Lacrosse Association president Sean Reid (left) and wife Angie (right) with their kids Leland, Cameron, Evan and Taya. (submitted photo)

LACROSSE

Surrey Rebels open registration with plans for ‘skills and drills’ season of box lacrosse

Last spring, the timing of the pandemic hit the game particularly hard

At the Reid home in Fleetwood, lacrosse is very much a family affair.

Sean Reid, president of Surrey Lacrosse Association, sounds happy to chronicle involvement in the game of wife Angie and their four kids, Leland, Cameron, Evan and Taya.

“I’ve got a son in 16U, which is formerly called Midget, a son who’s playing in Bantam, and a daughter in Peewee. My older son is a referee, and my wife is the head referee for the association,” Reid said. “We’re all involved.”

Spring will bring some uncertainty for all involved in the association, however, as players and parents adjust to COVID rules and regulations.

Registration has opened for another season of box lacrosse for the Rebels organization, but it’s not yet clear what the game will look like come April.

“We’re at the mercy of the PHO (provincial health officer) and viaSport, and we just don’t know yet what we’ll be allowed to do in the spring,” noted Reid, in his sixth year as president of an association that involves close to 600 young players in both box and field lacrosse.

Established in 1973, Surrey Lacrosse Association (surreylacrosse.com) involves box-lacrosse players who live north of 40th Avenue, and covers the entire city for field lacrosse, played under the Warriors banner from September to January.

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For the box game, the association aims to start training sessions for its “Skills and Drills Season” on Feb. 1.

“Right now we can only promise a skills-and-drills type of situation, not games against other clubs, so we have a two-tier registration system, with the first being skills-and-drills and the second being competitive if it all opens up,” Reid explained.

“So we are only charging for skills-and-drills now, and if it opens up to competitive, we’ll charge for that. We have to do that as a contingency plan, because nobody planned for this (pandemic) last year, and now nobody wants to part with a bunch of money if there is no plan. Right now, the province doesn’t have the plan.”

Last spring, the timing of the pandemic hit box lacrosse particularly hard.

“We had registration, we had tryouts, had established all of our teams, and then we had to pull the plug,” Reid recalled.

The 2020 season ahead was a promising one for the Rebels, due to a realignment of divisional rankings.

“We were going to play appropriate competition,” he explained. “Before, we were putting one of our A teams up against Ridge Meadows, a much larger association, and our kids were getting slaughtered. So we advocated and finally got proper allocation for our competitive value. Quite truthfully, we were looking forward to the most promising year ever. We were all incredibly excited about that.”

Ultimately, the association was in a position to offer members a 50-per-cent refund of their registration fees.

“We’re a not-for-profit, and we were moving ahead, spending money, as we do every year, on equipment, indoor gymnasium times and other things,” Reid explained. “So we offered that refund with a promise of a 50-per-cent reduction in this year’s registration fee.”

The association is granted use of outdoor lacrosse boxes in Cloverdale, Newton (two at Unwin Park), Whalley (at Kwantlen Park) and Guildford (Holly Park). Games are played indoors at Cloverdale Arena and North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex, the latter of which has not yet hosted a Rebels lacrosse game.

Meantime, the association is part of a group effort pushing to get a covered outdoor facility built at Cloverdale Athletic Park. The multi-sport hub would be located on the site of the current lacrosse box at the south end of the park, and would feature a surface suitable for lacrosse, soccer, field hockey and ball hockey.

“Something like that would be huge for us and allow us to practice year-round, in all kinds of weather,” Reid said. “It’s an ongoing process, and we have another presentation with the city later this month.”

• RELATED STORY, from 2019: Surrey sport groups make united pitch for covered training facility at Cloverdale Athletic Park.

Last July, Reid was among three winners of the Community Warrior Award given by Vancouver Warriors, the city’s National Lacrosse League team.

“Sean has given so much of his time and energy to the community in general, and youth in lacrosse in particular,” says a bio posted to vancouverwarriors.com. “He volunteers countless hours making sure everything is running properly, as well as growing the game.… On top of all of the volunteer work he does, he is also a ‘Healthcare Hero,’ working as an RN in emergency department at Ridge Meadows Hospital.”

Reid remains passionate about lacrosse and attracting kids who have never played the game, especially this coming season.

“We’re getting good response so far (to registration), with questions about the schedules, what are the days, what are the times, but because we’re not exactly sure about registration numbers, we’re not yet able to commit to those days and times,” he explained.

“We want new kids to just try it, get a stick and feel what it’s like to run around and play lacrosse,” Reid added. “Because we’re not allowed to have any contact, this season might be more about learning the skills of the game, the finer points. We feel it’s the perfect storm to get new kids to come out and try the game, because they won’t be distracted by the contact, the hitting and the game play.

“But for the kids who have played the game and are competitive, this will be a real downgrade for them if there is no lacrosse the way it’s supposed to be played.”

• RELATED STORY: Record-setting 10 Semiahmoo Rock players selected in B.C. junior lacrosse draft.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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