Bantam Hawks bring home gold from Oshawa tournament

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Main photo: The Bantam Hawks at the Oshawa Braver than Brave Tournament (front from left) Ethan “Rooster” Roos and Evan Pare; (second row from left) Ethan Urbanski, Keegan Shirtliff, Owen Decaro, Carter Boone, Ben Plant, Peter Perentesis, Daniel Clarke, Glen Thur, Ethan Wagg, Carson Robins, Kean Pare, Hunter Crawford, Wyatt Fisher, Damon Buttus;  (back row from left) assistant coach Kyle Shirtliff, assistant coach Chad Pare, head coach Ken Robins, trainer Dave Thur and team manager Sue Redpath (supplied)

The FC Hammond Well Drilling Huntsville Bantam Hawks have had an amazing start to their season.

“After our first 10 games we were still undefeated. The young men on this team came together as a team and haven’t looked back,” said head coach Ken Robins.

Their first loss came two weekends ago when they lost to Orillia—a team they have beaten twice in prior games—in the finals at a tournament in Orillia.

“Sometimes a loss like that is what makes teams dig down and work even harder,” said Robins. That’s exactly what happened when the Hawks played in the Oshawa Braver than Brave Tournament on June 21-23, 2019.

The Hawks faced a strong Newmarket team for their first game, taking the field with just 11 players due to school trips and without Hawks goalie Evan Pare who had fractured his thumb in the final game of the Orillia Tournament. “Talk about a team with heart and desire for one another. We had Ethan ‘Rooster’ Roos, an out player, jump in net for our team for this tournament as Evan has a cast on his arm,” said Robins. Despite being at a disadvantage, the Hawks took the win with a score of 7-5.

The next morning, the Hawks played Brampton 2, keeping control of the game to defeat their opponents 8-2.

In the final round robin game, the Hawks faced Oshawa 2, a well-known tough team. A very physical game was played by both teams and both goaltenders stood on their heads for each team. The Hawks dug deep and pulled out a 5-3 victory.

The Hawks advanced to the semi-finals where they met Whitby 2. Whitby was another very good team and it was a back-and-forth game, but the Hawks worked together to pull off another win with a score of 8-5.

The Bantam Hawks had “punched their ticket to the gold medal finals against Newmarket again,” noted Robins. “The young men knew it wasn’t going to be easy against Newmarket, and were up to the challenge.”

Newmarket led the first period with three goals to the Hawks’two. This fired up the Huntsville team as they prepared for the second period where they took the lead, 7-4, and would eventually win gold with a final score of 8-5.

The FC Hammond Well Drilling Bantam Hawks celebrated at the medal ceremony, which was led by Tucker Williams’ mother. Tucker passed away in 2014 from Burkitts Lymphoma, a rare form of cancer. In Tucker’s last journal entry in school he wrote, “Lacrosse is my favourite sport I wish I could play it everyday.”

“These young men did Tucker proud and played with heart, head and hustle,” said Robins. The Bantam FC Hammond Well Drilling team would like to thank the Oshawa Minor Lacrosse Association and the Williams family for hosting a fantastic tournament, he added.

After the medal ceremonies, someone mentioned in the change room that ‘this medal means more to me than any other medal that we have won.’

“A true meaning of the spirit of the game that this team loves,” said Robins.

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