News | 8/27/2013 2:12:55 PM | Bandits.com
This past weekend, the Buffalo Junior Bandits partook in the inaugural National Lacrosse League Junior tournament held at the Toronto Rock Athletic Center in Oakville, Ontario. The tournament also boasted NLL representatives from Toronto, Rochester, Minnesota, Colorado and Washington/Vancouver.
Buffalo had a team compete in both the Pee Wee and Bantam divisions. The Pee Wee team was coached by Bandits captain John Tavares and Bandits assistant coach Rusty Kruger while Bandits defenseman Jay Thorimbert and transition player David Brock coached the Bantam squad. Ted Cordingley served as an assistant coach to both teams.
“For the kids to be coached and interact with several of the Bandits players is unforgettable. And to be coached by John Tavares was icing on the cake,” Dave and Jackie Minich, whose son Mikey played on the Pee Wee team, said. “The coaches all made the kids feel comfortable and gave them a positive experience.”
The Bandits Bantam and Pee Wee rosters were comprised mainly of kids from Western New York as well as some from Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catherines and Shelburn, Ontario. Both teams lost their first-round playoff games.
Many of the players only had experience playing field lacrosse before this tournament, so they relished the opportunity to learn the box game.
“This was my son’s first exposure to box lacrosse and what an experience it was,” Carlo DiRienzo, whose son Carlo played for the Bantams said. “To be able to not only meet, but also be coached by past and present Bandits players was fantastic.”