After a one-year hiatus, the Semiahmoo Minor Lacrosse Association’s popular Wayne Goss Tournament is set to return to the floor.
The peewee lacrosse tourney – now in its 28th year, according to organizers – will run Friday through Sunday at both Centennial Arena in White Rock, as well as at Cloverdale Arena. Fourteen teams of 10- and 11-year-olds from both the local association and across the province will take part.
Last year’s tournament – which was to be held a city-run Centennial Arena – was cancelled because of the strike by White Rock city workers.
“I think last year was the first time it was ever not held, but we’re happy to have it back, for sure,” said Sheri Hildebrand, Semiahmoo Minor Lacrosse’s director of operations.
“It’s huge for our association, and for our community, to have an event like this that’s been around for so long.”
It’s important to Wayne Goss and his family, too. Last year, Semi’s then-president Glen Stoten told Peace Arch News that last year’s cancellation “was crushing for him.”
This year, Goss will again be on hand Sunday to hand out trophies at the championship game.
Goss was a member of the New Westminster Salmonbellies during the late 1960s and ‘70s. He is a member of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame as well as the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1982, while helping a friend build a cabin, he slipped and fell 10 metres. He suffered a severe brain-stem injury.
“Doctors told him he would never walk again, but he did. He’s just such a huge inspiration for all young lacrosse players,” Hildebrand said. “Our kids certainly all know about him, and what he’s done.”
Perhaps owing to its one-year absence, Hildebrand said requests to play in this year’s tournament were higher than usual.
“We got a ton of response – way more than we can handle,” she said.
The tournament begins Friday, with wraps up Sunday evening with a pair of championship game and closing ceremonies.
The ‘B’ final will be held at 2:30 p.m., and the ‘A’ division final is at 4 p.m.