HUNTSVILLE - This past weekend’s junior C lacrosse games between the Huntsville Hawks and the Clarington Shamrox could best be called “A Tale of Two Cities.”
On one hand, the Shamrox and the Hawks both play in lacrosse-mad locales.
But that is perhaps where the similarities end.
The Shamrox come from a lacrosse program that has competed well at both the B and C levels for years. The junior B Green Gaels are legendary in sports circles, while the junior C Shamrox have been one of the stronger teams in the relatively young C loop for the past two years while winning the 2010 and 2011 league championships in the process.
Huntsville, once a junior lacrosse powerhouse itself, has had its challenges in recent years, evidenced by the last two setbacks at the hands of the Shamrox on the weekend.
The Hawks dropped Saturday’s contest at the Jack Bionda Arena to Clarington by a 15-1 score then lost Sunday afternoon’s rematch by an unofficial score of 17-2.
“This was a case of a (Clarington) team that probably would rival any team in B and be competitive in A,” Hawks’ head coach Bill Payne said. “That team is out of its element. They shouldn’t really be in C. I spoke to their coach and he told me they cut 20 guys before the season. That’s more players than I have signed. Their attitude is that they have to fight for a spot so they will do whatever it takes to keep their spot. Sometimes I feel the attitude here is that I have to play them no matter what because there is no one to take the spot.”
Brandon Corry scored the lone goal for the Hawks in the loss on Saturday. Details of Sunday’s game were not available at press time.
Payne said that he did like how his team competed during Sunday’s game against the undefeated Shamrox. “Scotty MacDonald scored both our goals and he wasn’t afraid to go through the middle. Our offence, even though we didn’t score, had better shots than before, which is a real plus. We also cut down on their number of shots.”
The 1-5 Hawks hit the road Friday night for a game in Mimico against the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers are the only team the Hawks managed a win against this season, a 6-3 win on May 10.
Payne said he hopes the team can duplicate the same feat on Friday.
“We are planning on it. I feel we should have three wins by now but we had penalty troubles. If you look at Sunday’s game, we played (Clarington) very well for the first part of the game. We had four midget players in that game and I was quite impressed how they played for us.”
The Hawks are back home on June 14 when they host Innisfil.