Home Sports Strong competition at Club Lacrosse Nationals

Strong competition at Club Lacrosse Nationals

Courtesy Al Jones

For many, lacrosse is much more than just a sport. It’s a medicine game, and it’s healing. For Darris Jones, that’s part of why playing with Brady’s Bunch Lacrosse at the Club Lacrosse Nationals in Orlando, Florida, was so meaningful. The team was originally established to support Brady Wein, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia as a child in 2007.

Wein wasn’t expected to live past two years old but is now 15, and the team continues to play in his name after being established to raise funds for families facing the same thing.

“I’m thrilled to be here, to be on this team that has his name on the jerseys – it’s crazy. I’ve never seen something like that. I know it happens and cancer is a big thing, but to see one family who has suffered so much because of cancer turn it into an amazing, good thing, it’s really cool,” Jones said.

“We got to meet Brady, he’s really cool, and he’s doing well. So playing for a team with that history was awesome.”

Jones played with Brady’s Bunch Lacrosse at the Nationals tournament from December 29-31, narrowly losing the championship final 9-8 against the Team 91 National Stars.

Jones’ father, Al, said the tournament was exciting, with the final game particularly thrilling to watch. 

“From my standpoint, on the sidelines, they were a little too confident,” Al said. “For the whole tournament, Brady’s Bunch were playing as a team. Most of the goals they had were off passes with an assist, but with this game, they were playing desperation, with more individual play work, and it wasn’t working.”

Team 91 started scoring quickly, leaving Brady’s Bunch initially trailing behind 5-1, but they tightened up on defence and clawed back into the game.

The teams were tied 8-8 when Team 91 ran down the field, scoring the winning goal in the final 30 seconds. 

Despite the loss, Darris said the team played well together throughout the tournament. 

“I’ve played with high-level teams before, but that team was insane. Everyone could score to win the game. Every person on the field could score, and playing on a team like that was just awesome,” he said.

“It was the best team I’ve ever played with, it was so fun. You could just throw the ball and they’re going to catch it and score, and as soon as you come off, everyone’s just super happy and proud of each other. The energy was crazy, more energy than I’ve ever seen.”

Al noted it was especially good to see Darris joined by another Mohawk on the team, Julien Watts.

“Him and Julien were the two youngest on the team.” Al said. “The team was full of players all over the US, from all walks of life. It was a good experience to just meet new players, meet new friends.”

evedcable@gmail.com

This article was originally published in print on Friday, January 5, in issue 33.01 of The Eastern Door.

Eve is a reporter with the Eastern Door. She has also covered harm reduction and social justice issues for the Montreal Gazette, The Breach, Filter Magazine, and more.

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Eve is a reporter with the Eastern Door. She has also covered harm reduction and social justice issues for the Montreal Gazette, The Breach, Filter Magazine, and more.