Bantam Griffins Win Ontario Lacrosse Title

Wallaceburg Griffins, Bantam All Ontario Champions - Contributed Photo

Wallaceburg Griffins, Bantam All Ontario Champions – Contributed Photo

The Wallaceburg Griffins Bantam lacrosse team won the D Division Ontario Championships this past weekend in Bowmanville.

The Griffins defeated a tough Whitby team 5-2 in the championship game with Ryan Noel scoring a hat trick, and Cam Bechard scoring twice in the final victory.

To open the tournament, the Griffins were in tough, losing to Techumseh 6-3. Hunter Smith, Ryan Noel, and Cam Bechard had Wallaceburg’s goals in the opening loss. Facing Lincoln in their second game, the Griffins needed a win, and got one in front of the strong goaltending of Brett Santsche. Santsche held the Lincoln shooters at bay while Noel had a multi-goal game, and Smith and Bechard picked up the other Wallaceburg goals.

Although Wallaceburg won the game, coach Tim Santsche told his team following the game that they needed to move their feet, or they’d soon find their way out of the tournament.

Saturday morning, the Wallaceburg Griffins faced off against a strong Simcoe team. Hunter Smith opening the scoring for Wallaceburg in the first period, before Cullen Bowles put Wallaceburg ahead with only 12 seconds remaining in the first. After Simcoe tied the game, Hunter Smith scored his second of the game, a marker that would stand as the game winner. Austin Myers scored an insurance goal for Wallaceburg, giving them the 4-2 win.

In the quarter-finals Wallaceburg faced Burlington, and again counted on Brett Santsche in net. Ryan Noel would score Wallaceburg’s first two goals, before Trenton Verstraeten added support scoring for the Griffins. After Verstraeten’s goal, Wallaceburg would start firing on all cylinders with goals from Bechard, Myers, Smith, Noel, and Nowles before Burlington would score again. Wallaceburg however, wasn’t done yet as Noel, Bechard, and Myers would each score again, lifting Wallaceburg to an 11-7 win, and sending them to the Provincial semi-finals against North Perth.

Facing North Perth, Wallaceburg’s Ryan Noel continued his hot weekend, opening the scoring after finishing off a passing play from Smith and Preston Whiteye. After Perth tied the game, Noel would score again, and again, as the young sniper finished the game with four goals. Cullen Bowles and Hunter Smith had the other two goals, as Wallaceburg pressed on to the final with a 6-2 win.

Following the final win over Whitby, which gave the Griffins a Provincial title, coach Tim Santsche wasn’t sure what to say about his team, “I’m at a loss for words,” the coach stated.

Wallaceburg’s championship team was comprised of Brett Santsche, Hunter Smith, Cullen Bowles, Cam Bechard, Ryan Noel, Jayden Brown, Bryson Crossett, CJ Gibson, Matt Gorry, Preston Whiteye, Austin Myers, Kaleb Houle, Brydon Martin, Trenton Verstreaten, Braiden Shaw, and Ashton Williams.

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  • comment-avatar
    Todd Noel 8 years

    Kudos to the bantam coaching staff for their patience with a fairly young and inexperienced team. Having 5 brand new players that never played lacrosse and mixing them up with our more experienced surely wouldnt make this an easy task.
    Our team had many challenges to face and the team week by week was improving more and more. By the time provincials rolled around this team gelled and played like they have played together all their lives.
    Tim, Darby, Marc and Shane . I’m sure I speak on behalf of all bantam parents. We thank you. Without your dedication and support, our kids would not be enjoying a provincial championship.

  • comment-avatar
    Tim Santsche 8 years

    Thank you very much Todd it was an uphill battle but as a coaching staff we tried hard and pushed the boys to get where they were the boys all worked hard and kept positive all the way throughout the season and they deserved and earned the Ontario Provincial D Tittle that they won i’m very proud as a coach it is a lasting memory that no one can ever take away from the coaching staff and the players, I want to say thanks to the parents it is a great feeling when the stands are cheering loud and pumping the boys up we couldn’t have done it without the support from the parents and all the fans that weekend. Thanks