WINNING TEAM - The Blackfalds Pee Wee Warriors are all smiles after they took gold at a tournament in Okotoks last month.

WINNING TEAM - The Blackfalds Pee Wee Warriors are all smiles after they took gold at a tournament in Okotoks last month.

The Blackfalds Pee Wee Warriors land the gold

“I find that when we go to tournaments, they play even better.” - Coach Jason Nikolai

The best offence is a good defense.

While some might say the opposite is true, the strategy certainly seemed to work for the Blackfalds Pee Wee Warriors when they defeated the Red Deer Chiefs B1 Team 6 – 2 last month at home.

Blackfalds also played the Chiefs B2 Team on June 5th but no results were available at press time.

“When they play defensively, they seem to do really well,” said Coach Jason Nikolai. He added that good goaltending, strong defense and strong passing are the key strengths that have helped the Warriors have such a successful season.

That season is coming to an end with only one game left in regular play. It has been a good one for the team as the Warriors have played well in regular and exhibition play. The Warriors took gold at a recent Okotoks tournament and the team boasts an 8-1-1 regular season record, which will make them a strong contender in playoffs.

“We’ve been improving all year,” said Nikolai. He added that the team is known for playing well under pressure.

“I find that when we go to tournaments, they play even better.”

Even though Blackfalds has a smaller pool of players to draw from, the Warriors have proven that they can compete with larger centres. Nikolai said that this is true even though his team has a wide variety of experience in its players.

“We’ve got everybody from kids that have played for seven or eight years to players that this is their first year playing,” said Nikolai.

Coach Randy Trevors said that the key to overcoming this disadvantage is practice.

“It’s all in the practicing,” said Trevors. “You’ve got to show the kids what they are doing well and what they are doing wrong.”

He added that, while this style of coaching develops a strong team, it isn’t enough. He said that it is also necessary to have the players respect coaches and to respect them in return.

It is a relationship Trevors said exists on the Warriors bench.

While defense is one of the Warriors greatest strengths, it is still something the team will need to continuously work at if they want to do well in playoffs. Trevors said that lacrosse is a high scoring game and that makes defense all the more important.

He added that the team’s defense could always do with a little more discipline, as the players tend to get lax after scoring a few goals.

Trevors added that passing, another strength for the team, will save the Warriors from having to do a lot of running in post-season games.

“Lacrosse is a very face-paced game.”

As with most sports, conditioning is important in lacrosse.

Trevors said this is another strength that the team has and one they are constantly working on.

“The kids are really good at conditioning. You don’t even have to tell them. They go out, they do their workouts and get ready for the game.”

The Blackfalds Pee Wee Warriors next game is 6:30 p.m. on June 6 at the Blackfalds Multiplex.

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