by Pat Healey Courtesy of the Weekly Press

Bryson Knockwood (Indian Brook) showing his pride wearing his jersey for Team Nova Scotia. Photo courtesy of the Weekly Press

Indian Brook – One young Indian Brook athlete has reaped the reward of his drive and determination to be a better Lacrosse player.

Bryson Knockwood is the only East Hants resident to be selected to the Nova Scotia provincial Lacrosse team that heads to Whitby, Ont., for the bantam nationals July 30-Aug. 6.

The 13-year-old from Indian Brook First Nation started playing the sport about four years ago. In the past year, he’s gone from being a player just in it for fun, to one of the top players. He credits that to turning some of the fat he had into muscle and quickening his foot speed.

“It’s a real big honour to represent the province and my culture in the tournament,” Knockwood said.

The Riverside Education Centre student spoke proudly of what wearing the Nova Scotia colours at such a prestigious event means.

“It means the whole world,” he said.

He loves the sport for a variety of reasons.

“The fast motion of the ball, the adrenaline you get when you play, how you guard your man and the feeling you get when you score a goal,” said Knockwood, who slots in at the top of the house – or in other words is the guy that passes the ball to his teammates.

At a tournament in Saint John, N.B., earlier this year, Knockwood had five goals and four assists in four games. After that tournament, he continued his scoring prowess notching 18 points in 18 games with his club team, the Sackville Wolves.

Knockwood believes despite the thought that the team may not have a shot against powerhouses like Ontario, Alberta, and B.C., this team is different.

“Our coaches have been saying that this is the best crew that he’s ever had,” he said. ‘He sees a lot in us. I think we can do a lot if we give it the commitment and stay focused on our game plan.”

The son of Brian Knockwood and Jennifer Stevens, and grandson of Doreen Knockwood of Indian Brook, said the team practices three times a week. That’s on top of his club team practice and league games with the Sackville Wolves. Nova Scotia has been holding team practices since the team was first named in early May.

He has many friends who come in talking about the game the previous night or their weekend tournament. Unfortunately, they play hockey.

“They think of me some times as the odd one out,” Knockwood said. “They usually talk about hockey and I’ll have no clue what their talking about. I’ll come in talking about lacrosse and they’ll be like ‘what?’”

He said the sport is fun because it allows him to express his emotions.

“When I’m feeling good, I’ll play good,” he said. “When I’m not feeling too good, it kind of messes me up.”

Knockwood hopes this opportunity will be the first of many on his road to eventually landing in the National Lacrosse League (NLL). The Toronto Rock of the NLL is his favourite team.

He admits that lacrosse is rougher then what hockey is, and he has the sprained wrists and bruised shoulder to show that.

“It’s rougher because you’re getting into the opposing players face and pounding on him,” he said. “In hockey, you’re just skating around, mostly trying to keep your balance, but not able to go in for a good solid check like you can on two feet.”

Knockwood said for Nova Scotia to be successful at the nationals players will have to come together and work as a team and not individuals.

“We just have to stay calm and listen to what the coaches are telling us,” he said. “I’m not really nervous, mostly excited because it’s my first time (in a national).”

 

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