Thu | Oct 6, 2022

Lacrosse boss sees bright days ahead for the sport

Published:Monday | July 25, 2022 | 12:08 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica College’s lacrosse team training session in 2020.
Jamaica College’s lacrosse team training session in 2020.

Jamaica Lacrosse Association (JLA) president Calbert Hutchinson said the men’s senior team will use the disappointment of losing the gold medal match 6-5 to Puerto Rico in the Pan American Association Regional qualifying final in Colombia on Friday...

Jamaica Lacrosse Association (JLA) president Calbert Hutchinson said the men’s senior team will use the disappointment of losing the gold medal match 6-5 to Puerto Rico in the Pan American Association Regional qualifying final in Colombia on Friday as motivation going into the World Lacrosse Championship in San Diego, California next year.

The Jamaicans defeated hosts Colombia 7-2, the US Virgin Islands 5-4 and Peru 7-2 on their way to the final, and though they lost their four-year unbeaten run to the Puerto Ricans who came in as favourites, they still secured one of the four qualifying spots from the regional tournament.

Hutchinson said the disappointment of not getting the gold will, however, serve as the motivating factor to take home a medal at the World Championship and work their way up from 13 to top five in the world rankings.

“We wanted the gold. We wanted first place, but it wasn’t to be. It was a nail-biting final, but it is mission accomplished even though we wanted to enter the World Championships next year in fine style with the number-one spot.

“But this is going to be a motivation for the team to work even harder for the World Championships,” he stated.

He said the World Championships will give the team the opportunity to position itself among the top-ranked teams in the world and they have set their sights on the bronze medal.

“I always run a risk when predicting things and I predicted we were going to medal in the qualifiers and we did. For the World Championships I predict that we are going to do two things, we are looking to medal and this is likely to be a bronze.

“And we are (ranked) 13 right now and up on completing the championship we are looking to be in the top-five. With our position after that, we are going to be in a better place to be included as one of the Olympic countries, when lacrosse is included at the Olympics,” he declared.

Developing chemistry

He has called on corporate Jamaica for assistance as the team seeks an ideal preparation going into the tournament. The team has players based in the United States, Canada and locally and Hutchinson is hoping that instead of having separate training camps, they could bring them together for a prolonged period so they can work on developing chemistry.

“That will allow them to play as a unit. But it is going to take a lot of cash to get them from their home towns to a central location and cover all their expenses. We are also looking for games. So we can provide opportunities for our players to play leading up to the World Championships. So I am appealing to corporate Jamaica. We need their support. And anybody that comes onboard right now will definitely get the return because of the traction that we are picking up right now,” Hutchinson said.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com