Mohawks lacrosse team trying to make playoffs in first season
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 10:03 am
As it heads into its final two games of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League Senior ‘C’ regular season, the Airdrie Mohawks is on the outside looking in for a spot in the playoffs.
The Mohawks, which is currently sitting in third place in the South Division with a 5-5 record, needs to win its final two games of the season on the road this weekend against the Calgary Irish on July 12 and the Lethbridge Pioneers on July 13 to get the second and final playoff spot in the South Division.
“If we win both games, we pretty much have second place wrapped up,” Mohawks Coach Greg Bradley said. “But if we lose both of those games, it will be a disappointing end to our season.”
“That doesn’t mean that the year has been horrible, but we feel like we have a team here that contend to win a championship,” he added. “If we don’t have a chance to even compete in the playoffs, it will be a let down for our guys.”
The majority of the Mohawks roster is made up of players who had previously played for the Rocky View Knights Senior ‘B’ team or other Senior ‘C’ teams in the RMLL, before joining the new Airdrie-based squad for this season, which consists of players between the ages of 21 and 35.
“We had a lot of alumni from that team (the Knights) who were looking for another place to play in the Senior ‘C’ ranks, as they are unable to commit to a full time schedule to play in Senior ‘B’,” Bradley said. “In Senior ‘B’, you have to have a lot of time off for practices and games, and guys are unable to do that because of their work schedules or family commitments.”
“I’ve played with a lot of these growing up in junior and senior lacrosse leagues in the Calgary area, so it’s nothing new for me to be playing here in Airdrie in the Senior ‘C’ league this season,” Mohawks forward Tyler Weber added. “We all have a lot of lacrosse IQ and I think that helps us to be a successful team.”
In its most recent game at the Plainsman Arena on July 5, the Mohawks had a chance to put itself in control of its playoff destiny in a game against the Calgary Irish, but lost a tightly contested 9-7 game.
“We started off in some penalty trouble, and we never really recovered from that,” Bradley said. “We had our scoring chances, but it just didn’t work for us.”
“The up and down nature of the game has kind of been like our season,” Crossfield native and Mohawks defender Gene Klebeck added. “We’ve played well against some teams, but then in other games, we don’t play well and it ends up costing us.”
While the Mohawks season may come to an end earlier than its players have hoped for, Klebeck believes the new team should get better as the year’s go on, and especially as the Senior ‘C’ league grows.
“As more people know that they have an option of playing in Senior ‘C’ if they don’t make the Senior ‘B’ team here or can’t commit to it, you will see more and more people wanting to come out,” Klebeck said.
“The Senior ‘C’ league in the RMLL has grown a lot in the last couple of years, which is good for its future,” he added. “There was only two teams when it started, and now there are seven teams in the league, with talk of more teams happening all of the time.”