Quinton Groomes remembered during Junior C Hawks’ opening game

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The Junior C Hawks attacked their first weekend with their first home opener game on Saturday, May 4, 2019.

The stands in the arena were filled with Hawk fans who were there to cheer on the Jr C team
starting their 2019 season as well as family and friends of the late Quinton Groomes #6, a previous
Hawks player who was honoured as one of their own by the Junior and Minor Hawks organizations.

The motto of the night was ‘Once a Hawk…Always a Hawk’ and the saying was, “We all play for Quinn.”

The night began with the Tyke Hawks welcoming the Jr C Hawks onto the floor giving the Hawks high fives as they came out of their dressing room and then standing on the sidelines amongst the Jr C players while the entire arena took a moment of silence to pay respect to Quinton Groomes.

Both the Home and Visiting players displayed their support for their fallen lacrosse brother by wearing an honour
badge on the back of their helmets.

There was a donation table where fans, family, and friends were able to donate to support Muskoka
Youth Mental Health and Wellness Fund in honour of Quinn Groomes. A portion of the proceeds from
the game will also be donated in Quinn’s name.

“I loved that we were able to honour a former Hawk Quinn Groomes who sadly passed away in the fall; I had the pleasure of coaching him a few years ago,” Coach Caleb MacKay, adding that Groomes had an upbeat attitude and happy-go-lucky approach and players gravitated towards him. “He could always make someone feel better with that smile of his,” shared the coach.

May 4, 2019, opening game against Cornwall

 

With 18 players starting on the bench, the Hawks played an outstanding first game after the ceremonial
ball drop. Huntsville faced-off against Cornwall and took control of the game quickly and kept the ball in the opponent’s end for most of the game, with the Cornwall team earning penalty after penalty – the team used the power plays to their advantage as they could get the ball to the attacker to score hard on Cornwall’s goalie.

The Hawks took their first win of the season with the end score being 12-6. “Our season opener
went well, we were able to take advantage of the penalties that Cornwall took, and spent a lot of time in
the offensive end because of that. It was a nice start having our big guns put up points and getting our
rookie goalie Cal Lenathen his first career win,” said Coach MacKay.

Game two was Sunday, May 5, 2019, against Nepean.

 

“I do think it was such an emotionally charged game for our team (home opener, Quinn’s ceremony, lots of penalties) that our Sunday matchup with Nepean got away from us,” said MacKay. This game was an evenly matched game at the start as each team would score and take the lead while the opponents would then fight back to tie up the score and then surpass them during the first period.

The second period saw Nepean put the ball in the Hawks net double time as they stole their lead back. The Hawks added pressure but it wasn’t enough to win as they took their first loss of the season 11-15.

Coach MacKay reflected that “too many turnovers and not enough intensity, Nepean came ready to play and we never got comfortable at either end of the floor. As a young team, it’s important to learn how to manage emotions and never get too high or too low. Lots of situations to learn from, both positive and negative… I’m happy to get a split in the first two games, obviously two wins is better but it’s a 16 game season and lots of opportunities left,” was the advice shared by MacKay “Lacrosse is a game of runs and we need to figure out how to stay focused
game-by-game, period-by-period. There’s five years of eligibility in this league and we’ve only got two fifths
and two fourth-year players; so the bulk of our roster is relatively young and still learning this early in the
season.”

Next home game is tonight at 8 p.m. in the Jack Bionda arena where the Hawks take on
Whitby. Come watch the excitement from your community team as they play the “fastest game on two
feet.”

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