The Moose Jaw Lacrosse Association (MJLAX) all of a sudden finds itself very, very busy.
And you better believe it’s a problem they’re more than happy to have.
The organization has moved quickly as the ongoing pandemic restrictions have eased, and with the provincial government removing limits on indoor sports in their most recent update, their popular box lacrosse program has returned.
That’s on top of the ongoing field program that has been in place for a couple weeks now, meaning there will be plenty of action for Canada’s other national sport in the month of July.
“With everything being a kind of mish-mash right now, we’ve just been contacting organizations and setting up things as best we can,” said MJLAX president Cody Nidesh. “The kids are getting to play games, though, that’s the important thing.”
The field lacrosse Mustangs continue their season next week with a series of games against the Regina Royals program. The 8-and-under team plays on Monday, June 28 and the 13U team on Friday, June 29 before the 11U crew are on the field Tuesday, July 6. All games are at 6:30 p.m. at 1996 Summer Games Field on South Hill.
Box lacrosse, meanwhile, returns to play at Kinsmen Arena on Friday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. for the 16U Mustangs as they take on Regina 2 and on Saturday, July 10 for the 14U team with a doubleheader against Swift Current at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
“The biggest thing on the box side was at least getting some games in place and it just happened that interest went up a little bit and we were able to put together what we could,” Nidesh said. “They’ll be smaller rosters than normal just so we have a chance to keep going.”
That’s a symptom of the overall situation for MJLAX — with a lack of scheduled games at the beginning of the season, registration numbers aren’t as high as past years, but the potential is still there for a positive outcome with the players who have signed up.
“We’re just kind of piecing teams together at this point,” Nidesh said. “Our numbers are down due to COVID and all that, but in the same sense we’ve been able to keep the ones who have been consistently around year-to-year and are invested a little more in lacrosse, so it’s good to give them the opportunity.”
The organization also recently presented their prestigious Ken Stewart Memorial Scholarship through the Prairie South School Division.
The honour — named after the legendary Mustangs standout who was killed in a motor vehicle accident in 2013 — is presented annually by the Stewart family to a player or players who have shown dedication to the sport in Moose Jaw over the years in addition to a combination of talent, skill, work ethic and giving back to the sport in the city.
Longtime Mustangs standouts Kayde Shymko, Bryden Kerr and Kale Stephenson were all presented with the award.