Three local lacrosse players did Ponoka proud in the nationals last month, with two in the gold-winning U22 team and another winning bronze as part of the U17 team.
The Minor Box Lacrosse Nationals took place in Regina Aug. 14 to 19.
Isabelle Barnes played for the U17 female team, while Karlee Feragen and Brooklyn Raine played for the U22 female team.
“It was like nothing I have ever experienced,” said Feragan.
“We had four round-robin games during the week and ended up going two and two. We had a day off on the Friday, and the finals were on the Saturday, and we played the two teams that we had lost to during the round-robin which ultimately led us to the gold medal,” she said.
Feragan, 18, said the experience as a whole was also outstanding thanks to the top-notch organizing that went into it.
“The culture there was awesome — all the teams were good. My team was tight-knit. I had great roommates, the set-up was good and everything was super organized,” she said.
“There was a big opening ceremony which was at the Mosaic Stadium, so it was just huge. It was unreal,” she said.
Heading into it, she said the team was a little concerned as they hadn’t practiced a great deal prior to leaving for Regina.
“But I think we all knew that we could do this, we just had to put our hearts into it and we definitely had the motivation,” she said. “Our coaches definitely carried us through that — they were very supportive and never let us get down on ourselves.
“Once we had won a couple of games, we knew that we had it in us to actually come home with the gold,” she said. “I think it’s also about attitude.
“We had the skill to do it, and even when we lost those two games, no one was saying, ‘Oh, we can’t do this anymore.’ We just kept going. And we woke up on the Saturday morning and we knew that we had it in us,” she said.
“We were always motivated no matter what happened at the end of the day — it helped a lot,” she said, adding that many on the team are among her best friends now.
“Seeing some of my teammates with tears in their eyes when we won … it was crazy. I felt like I was dreaming for a week afterward. It still doesn’t feel real at all.”
Feragan started playing lacrosse with the Lacoka team around the time she was just six or seven.
She loves the sport for its competitive nature, and also because it’s just a blast to play. The local community has also always been very supportive, she said.