Sports

Hyack field lacrosse grads get together for game over break

Once a Hyack field lacrosse player, always a Hyack. Scott Jansen and Davig Bigley are getting ready for the tenth annual face-off between team alumni on Dec. 22. - MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER
Once a Hyack field lacrosse player, always a Hyack. Scott Jansen and Davig Bigley are getting ready for the tenth annual face-off between team alumni on Dec. 22.
— image credit: MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER

At first it began with Scott Janssen missing his field lacrosse buddies from high school.

The New Westminster native had gone off to Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., to play on a scholarship. When he returned for Christmas break, he would give his friends a call wanting to know if they wanted to throw the ball around outside even though it was usually pretty darn cold.

Ten years later and it’s blossomed into an annual event with about 40 alumni showing up. This year they’ll be going up against the current edition of the New Westminster Hyacks with the 2012 edition set for Saturday, 6 p.m., at the new Queen’s Park East field.

“I just wanted to come back and play with the boys, we hadn’t seen each other in quite a while,” said Janssen. “It was kind of cool because we’ve had some guys come back that had never played since high school.”

The New Westminster Salmonbellies minor lacrosse product said Hyacks head coach Ken Bowman helps to spread the word by sending out mass emails to the various generations of teams he’s coached over the years.

A few years after Janssen, a former Burnaby Laker, completed college he traded in his lacrosse stick for a sales schtick as a NewsLeader account executive.

Earlier this year, however, Janssen played for The Netherlands, where his father was born, at the world field lacrosse championships. He’s thinking of doing it again in 2014.

“I definitely miss the ability to play lacrosse every single day which is what I did at school for five years in a row,” said Janssen.

That’s why he organizes the annual game that attracts National Lacrosse League stars like Jordan McBride and Kevin Crowley. Although Bowman has canceled the game in previous years because of snow, most weather won’t stop them from having fun.

“We play in rain and freezing cold. It’s never sunny out, that’s for sure,” said Janssen. “We used to have to shovel the field off. One year we came back from Christmas break and there was two to three feet of snow. They come in there with their quads and plow the snow, and then we had to scrape the ice and everything else got taken out.”

Janssen said he would eventually like to turn the event, dubbed the S.J. Invitational by his buddies, into a fundraiser for a charity. Any alumni wanting to play can contact him via email at scott@newwestnewsleader.com.

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