With the second ever Canadian Lacrosse League (CLAX) season underway, many Wallaceburg lacrosse fans are avidly watching the new professional league, and for good reason. Wallaceburg has three players competing in the league, Isaiah Kicknosway with the Ohsweken Demons, and Jordan Durston and Justin Durston with the Iroquois Ironmen.
All three are Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse and Wallaceburg Red Devils alumni, an feat current Junior B Red Devils head coach Steve Lilley says is great for their system,
“Anytime you have alumni playing professionally it is an good accomplishment,” says Lilley, “but for a small centre like us, that doesn’t have the large numbers like other centres, it is a great accomplishment to see so many of the guys that went through our system get a chance to showcase their talent at the highest level.”
Kicknosway scored a goal and added an assist in his first game of the season, an 18-15 win over the Durston’s Iroqouis Ironmen. This is Kicknosway’s second season in CLAX. Last year, playing for Ohsweken he had 3 goals and 9 assists in 10 games. Ohsweken won the inaugural CLAX championship.
According to Lilley, he sees the example being set by these three players, having a significant impact on Minor Lacrosse in Wallaceburg.
“It has big influence on the Minor players in Wallaceburg. Most of the minor players have watched them play and/or have been coached at one time or another by them,” Lilley stated about the three Wallaceburg CLAX players. “When the minor players see these local guys playing at the highest level it gives them the confidence they need to continue to work hard and know that they don’t need to live in a large center to get noticed.”
Lilley also believes the league, which now features seven teams; Durham, Toronto, Ohsweken, Iroqouis, Niagara, Barrie, and Brampton, will have an impact not only in Wallaceburg, but for lacrosse across the province.
“CLAX will have a big impact on lacrosse in Ontario. Having another professional league is huge because it gives the players more opportunities to play at a high level besides the NLL. I also see it helping to increase the number of players playing lacrosse in Ontario due to their being even more opportunity to continue playing lacrosse after they are no longer eligible to play Junior.”
Wallaceburg’s Jordan VanDamme was also selected in this year’s CLAX draft by the Durham Turfdogs. Wallaceburg’s Sean Pollock also continues to play professionally in the NLL for the Colorado Mammoth.
Continue to watch CKSN.ca for updates on these lacrosse players this season.