Henry secures spot on national lacrosse team after trials
Former Kingston College representative Samuel Henry was the only player to secure a place in Jamaica’s World Championships lacrosse team, following trials in Kingston on Thursday.
The Missouri Valley College scholar was among over 30, mainly local, participants on trial but he was the only one to impress new coach Mark Wilson enough to secure a spot on the squad for San Diego.
“We did let the guys know that Samie Henry was going to be selected for the national team. That is a final decision we made and we decided to announce it because Samie was there,” Wilson told The Gleaner.
“He has improved as a player and is a guy who has taken his game to the next level. He has earned that spot and I know he will back it up with performance in the World Championships.”
Invitations will be sent to all the selected players and the full squad is expected to be announced by the end of the week.
However, the door will not be totally closed on the remaining participants at the tryouts, as about 12 other players will be selected to a B squad, which will travel with the national team to the World Championships and the Heritage Cup to compete against other B squads in second-tier tournaments.
“This was the last opportunity for guys to showcase themselves to the national team but in order to build and maintain our players pool, we are taking an association team to the events that the national team will be playing.
“Several guys showed they can compete at that level and it is going to give them an opportunity to be in the players pool for future national teams,” Wilson explained.
Wilson said that the second-tier tournaments will provide good exposure and opportunities.
“It is an opportunity to play on an international level and see the game played at a competitive pace.
“For those with college aspiration it gives them an opportunity to get some good footage on film,” he added.
However, some may not qualify because of the lack of travel documents.
“Many times we have trouble with that. If we get through those barriers we will be able to bring a good number over to play in those ancillary tournaments and that will be an awesome experience that will help those guys level up their play.
“We may take a dozen guys and maybe a few more qualify based on what we saw on Thursday,” he said.
“But the expense is massive so we are in the midst of exploring many fundraising avenues to give as many guys the opportunity to go.”
Meanwhile, the World Championships squad will not assemble until the Heritage Cup in May. All the players will be fully active over the period.
“It is going to be a very quiet period for the next few months, but many are active college players. They begin practise in January and will go straight through to May. So we won’t see them again until the Heritage Cup.
“But during that time we are going to meet via Zoom monthly, to go over tactics and build team culture to make sure we are as prepared as can be. So once the season ends, we will be back on the field,” he said.