Lacoka Lacrosse was well represented recently at the Alberta summer games, representing Zone 4 in Okotoks.
“It went well – the boys played really hard,” said Zac Coubrough, the team’s head coach and vice president of coach development for the Lacoka Lacrosse Association.
Meanwhile, assistant coach Ray Scott was also at the Games, and playing for Lacoka were Preston Corkum, Deegan Scott, Bronson Scott, Mason Williams, and Bryson Talsma who played Lacoka Locos U15 this box lacrosse season, along with Peirson Laroque and Maquire Caddy who previously played with Lacoka and have also made the Red Deer Chief A box lacrosse team for the last two seasons.
“I was thankful for the experience and knowledge that my assistant coaches JP Sola and Lee Siemans from the Red Deer A Chiefds brought to the team,” he said.
“We met two tough teams – the Zone 2 team which ended up winning gold and then the Sherwood Park team (Zone 5) that we lost the bronze medal to,” said Coubrough, who has been coaching with Lacoka since 2020.
They ultimately landed in fourth place out of eight teams in their category.
“They played really well – we have a very skilled team.”
Coubrough, who is originally from Lacombe, has been a huge fan of lacrosse from an early age.
“I think I was about 11 or 12, and I saw it on TV,” he recalled. “I went up to my grandpa, and I said that I wanted to play that! A couple of days later, he found a clipping in a newspaper saying that there was a lacrosse event happening in Red Deer.
“I just fell in love with it from there, and I played from then until I was 19.”
A few years of working away came next so lacrosse was put on the back burner for a bit.
“Then I saw an ad that Lacoka was looking for a coach and I said I’d be interested in it.”
They offered him a stint to coach Peewee, but then the pandemic hit so everything was put on hold. During his second year with the Association, his team managed to play three games at the end of the season.
“And then last year, we actually won the provincials – we went down to Cold Lake and played really well,” he said.
For Coubrough, there is plenty about lacrosse he has always found compelling.
”It’s a great game because a lot of life lessons directly co-relate to it – like in order to score a goal, you have to work hard and get through the middle. Also, you can’t be a good leader if you aren’t a good teammate. You get out what you put in – the game will reward you (according) to the effort that you put into it.”
‘Box’ lacrosse is held indoors and ‘field’ lacrosse is outdoors. The sport is popular around the world, particularly across North America and parts of Europe as well. It’s also considered one of Canada’s national sports.
Here at home, Coubrough said he is always looking to grow the game.
“I’m always recruiting for coaches, and I’m always looking for kids to come out and join us.
”One of my favourite parts of coaching is to have a kid who has never played before, then watch him or her fall in love with the game and blossom into a lacrosse player,” he said.
Coaching is also an extremely worthwhile endeavor to plug into, he said.
“It’s a good way to give back to the community and to support our young people. There are a lot of incredible families involved with Lacoka and we’ve kind of become a family on our own.”
To that end, he added he is thankful for all the coaches he has worked with over the years, including his grandpa Grant Pavely who was of course instrumental in Coubrough’s involvement in the sport from the get-go.
He also mentioned that Lacoka hosts try-out nights for anyone who would like to come out and give it a shot. Find them on Facebook for news on coming dates.
“This organization is supported by a group of highly committed individuals who share the same vision,” he said. “We want to see lacrosse grow in Lacombe, Ponoka, and Maskwacis.”
Check out www.lacokalacrosse.com.