Up and running, the inaugural Simon Fraser University Field Lacrosse Academy at Cariboo Hill Secondary has garnered its share of interest.
And as word of mouth spreads, along with any success stories that emerge from the first year, technical director Brent Hoskins expects greater interest and more opportunities for local students.
Right now, he’s happy with how things are going, with newly hired head coaches Mackenzie Terrio and Matthew Sobey providing the in-class and on-field direction.
“The academy is a partnership between SFU (lacrosse) and the Burnaby school district, and having it based here at SFU allows us bring the programs together,” said Hoskins.
“The overall objective is to demonstrate and provide a learning experience and opportunity for young (high school) students, and provide a pathway to post-secondary.
“Our goal is to expose them to those opportunities, whether they be at SFU or at Canadian or U.S. colleges.”
Both Terrio and Sobey are products of the SFU program, who are well-versed in the operations of the nine-time Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League champion.
Terrio was a coach with the Burnaby Mountain elite development program for 10 years, while Sobey has seven years of coaching in the Surrey minor lacrosse system, as well as a coach for the B.C. Summer Games.
They both starred with SFU and earned various accolades over their collegiate playing careers, and now look to provide guidance for academy students to follow a similar path.
Graduates and now assistant coaches with the college program, the pair are perfect matches for the new roles to coach and mentor kids as young as 13.
“What we were looking for as we evaluated the candidates for the academy were experience and expertise,” said Hoskins. “It was equally important that they would be outstanding mentors who the athletes could relate with and look up to.”
Although the program has only one female student enrolled this semester, Hoskins said that in the coming years he hopes to see more girls – who are a growing demographic in the sport – sign up.
There are currently 14 students enrolled the inaugural course, twice a week at the Burnaby Mountain campus.