Salmonbellies select sniper Schuss

Delta Islanders
Delta Islanders' Logan Schuss (left) tries to evade New Westminster's Tom Newton during Jr. A semifinal playoff action at Ladner Arena.

The New Westminster Salmonbellies believe they made big strides in making themselves ambidextrous Monday evening.

With a heavily-weighted right-handed lineup, the ’Bellies went into the Western Lacrosse Association’s entry draft at the Langley Events Centre looking to improve the southpaw side, from front to back.

First of all, they took care of the left front end by selecting sniper Logan Schuss of the Delta Islanders. He put up a remarkable 65 points (34 goals and 31 assists) in just nine regular-season games for the junior club, and then went on to lead the league in playoff scoring with 53 points (27,26) in 10 games.

Schuss is heading into his senior season with the Ohio State Buckeyes. He’s also been drafted by Columbus, where Ohio State is based, of the Major Lacrosse League, a professional field loop.

“He was by far the best player and we got him in the No. 2 spot,” said New West president Dan Richardson. “Our players are just drooling in the fact he’s going to be on the left side.”

Richardson was impressed with Schuss having a big upper body who can put up points and compared him to former Salmonbellie great Geordie Dean, who scored 1,412 points, including 569 goals, in 503 senior games.

“If he can be half the player Geordie Dean was we’re pretty excited,” said Richardson. “He’s excited to be a Salmonbellie. Logan has told us he’d like to try the MLL for the next couple of years.

“We’re willing to wait for him and work for him. You just can’t pass up on a kid that is that talented. I don’t care what people say.”

Right behind Schuss at third overall, the Salmonbellies selected Jeff Cornwall, a left-handed transition player with the Minto Cup champion Coquitlam Jr. Adanacs who is already in his second season with the Edmonton Rush in the National Lacrosse League.

“He’s a big boy. We’ve been watching him for a while,” said Richardson. “He’s like a left-handed Curtis Manning who can run the floor.

“The maturity level of Logan Schuss and Jeff Cornwall, as good as they are on the floor, they’re just as impressive off the floor.”

In the second round, 10th overall the Salmonbellies took care of their left back side by taking Jr. ’Bellie and New Westminster native Reid Mydske.

“We were crossing our fingers and toes that he was still going to be there at 10. That’s where we had him rated. He’s got a huge upside, plays a defensive game and moves the ball up the floor.”

With the next pick, they took another Jr. ’Bellie in forward Keegan Bal (29-28-57 in 16 games and 10-6-26 in seven playoff games).

“He’s 6-1, very athletic, with good numbers,” said Richardson. “We like his speed and his athleticism.”

They went to the Jr. ’Bellie well once again in the third round by picking Reagan Harding (20-27-46) 17th overall. “We think he might be the sleeper in this draft.”

In the fourth round, they took defender Matt Ziin, a teammate of Schuss in Delta who had a strong playoff.

Knowing the 2013 draft would be a deep one, the Salmonbellies had stockpiled picks with trades the last two years to get the extra selections in the first two rounds.

“It exceeded our expectations,” said Richardson of their draft.

Other senior Salmonbellies picks were Cody Craven (Port Coquitlam), David Beaumont (Burnaby), Ryan Schmidt (New West), Sando Falbo (New West), Joshua Becker (New West) and Callum Dailly (New West).

• Former Jr. ’Bellies star Tyler Digby, who is heading into his senior season at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh where he plays lacrosse and football, was taken sixth overall by the Burnaby Lakers. He will wait to see if he’ll be selected in the CFL draft May 6 or if he gets a training camp tryout before deciding whether he’ll play for the Lakers.

New West junior Brandon Goodwin, son of new Salmonbellies head coach Steve Goodwin, was picked seventh overall by the defending WLA champion Langley Thunder.



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