By Ned Bekavac
Mackenzie Iacocca and Damon Currie are headed west, and are looking to come home as two of the country’s best.
“We definitely expect to win,” says Iacocca. “That’s the mindset for the whole team – it’s gold, or nothing. And if we lose, it won’t be a pretty sight.”
Later this month, the local lacrosse lads, who are Guelph Regals teammates, will be on the national stage. They’ve made the grade and will be representing Ontario at the Canadian midget field lacrosse championships in Edmonton.
The duo, both 16, have been playing lacrosse together for about a decade.
“We both work really hard, and work well together,” says Iacocca.
“It’s going to be a pretty cool experience, to play with a friend I’ve been playing with for a long time” at such a big event.
Both players got their starts at young ages, and both got linked up to the game via older brothers. Currie was about five, and Iacocca three.
Currie recalls his start. His brother’s buddy was playing lacrosse. So his bro wanted to play too.
“He just went up to my mom one day and said ‘I want to play lacrosse.’ I was in the room and I said ‘Yeah, me too!’” he says.
“I’ve been playing ever since.”
Says Iacocca: “My brothers started playing lacrosse and I just got into it. I used to come to their games and I just brought my stick, and just fell in love with it. I’ve loved it ever since.”
Currie has a similar shine for the sport.
“It makes me happy,” he says. “It’s a stress reliever. It’s, like, a happy place for me.”
Another happy place for Currie, he anticipates, will be Providence College in Rhode Island, down the road. He has committed to the lacrosse program at the school.
While he just finished his Grade 10 year at Hill Academy, a high school in Vaughan for dedicated student-athletes, the former John F. Ross CVI student has already confirmed he’s going to head to Providence College, on scholarship.
“I could have waited a couple of years, but I visited Providence and I just loved it. It was a great place. The coaching staff is great, and the lacrosse and athletic buildings were beautiful,” he says.
Iacocca, who just finished his Grade 10 year at Bishop Macdonell high school, says he’s spoken to a couple of schools, but his post-graduation lacrosse map remains open.
But that’s all still a few years down the road for them. First things first: The upcoming national midget lacrosse championships.
“I’m a little bit nervous, to be honest. I know B.C. and Iroquois are going to be good, so am a little nervous to see what they’re going to be like. But other than that, I’m pretty excited for it,” says Iacocca.
“I’m excited to get there – anxious,” says Currie.
The national championships in Edmonton are scheduled to start on Aug. 29.
Ontario last won the midget national title in 2010.