Bryce Amos will soon have an opportunity to win some more hardware from a provincial competition.
Earlier this year the Nuu-chah-nulth teen was a member of a North Shore squad that captured the silver medal at the provincial boys’ under-15 field lacrosse tournament in Surrey. Amos, 15, will now try to help his Team Indigenous squad win a medal at the BC Summer Games, scheduled for July 19-22 in Duncan.
The multi-sport BC Summer Games are staged every two years. Athletes representing various regions in the province take part. But this marks the first time Indigenous athletes from across British Columbia have been allowed to form their own squads in some sports for the Games. Besides box lacrosse, athletes will compete for Team Indigenous in basketball and canoeing/kayaking.
Amos had the option of attending either the field lacrosse or box lacrosse tryouts for the Games. Both sports will feature athletes in the Midget (15 and 16-year-olds) category.
“I like box lacrosse more,” Amos said. “It’s more fun. I like the hitting.”
As it turned out, Amos and all the other athletes who showed up for the Team Indigenous one-day tryout on Sunday, June 17 in Abbotsford were named to the squad.
“I feel pretty good making it,” said Amos, who is also an avid basketball player.
About 30 athletes had indicated they would be attending the tryout. But only 19 individuals ended up coming. All 19 athletes (17 runners and two goalies) were named to the team.
“Apparently some guys are injured and some just couldn’t make it,” said Amos, who recently moved from North Vancouver to Nanaimo with his adoptive mother Kelly Smith, a member of the Ehattesaht First Nation.
Amos’ adoptive father Bruce Lucas is a member of the Hesquiaht First Nation. And Amos’ biological mother, Anita Amos, has Hesquiaht and Mowichaht First Nation ancestry.
Wayne Kaboni, the head coach of the Team Indigenous lacrosse squad, believes Amos would have made his team even if others had shown up and cuts were required.
“He was one of the stronger players there,” Kaboni said of Amos.
Kaboni added he was impressed on Sunday with not only the attitude of Amos but all the others who were at the tryout.
“It was a hot day and it was 36 degrees, probably even hotter inside the arena,” Kaboni said. “The fact they all stayed for the whole (three-hour) practice showed their desire to play on this team.”
Kaboni didn’t seem too upset all those who had indicated interest in the tryout did not surface.
“We had some no-shows and some guys had conflicting schedules,” he said. “But we just had to go with the players that we had.”
Seven clubs will participate in the boys’ box lacrosse division at the BC Summer Games.
“I don’t know what to expect,” Amos said of the competition his side will face.
Simply based on what he witnessed at Sunday’s tryout, Amos thinks his club could end up being rather competitive.
“I think we’ll have a good chance at the Games,” said Amos, who is finishing up his Grade 9 studies at Nanaimo’s John Barsby Community School.
Amos said Team Indigenous is hoping to stage at least one practice before it begins playing at the Games. Amos is also hoping his squad will jell quickly.
“For some players it’s their first year of playing lacrosse,” he said. “But some guys have a lot of experience.”
In his 11th season, Amos is one of the seasoned players in the sport. He began playing at age 5 with the Alberni Valley Minor Lacrosse Association. Amos is currently also playing box lacrosse with the Nanaimo Timbermen program at the Midget level.
About 3,700 athletes are expected to compete at the BC Summer Games. They’ll be participating in 18 different sports.