© Copyright – 2017 – Victoria Sports News
The 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) will be taking place July 16 to 23 in Toronto and Greater Victoria is sending several athletes that will be competing as members of Team BC.
One athlete that Victoria Sports News caught up with while he was training at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence (PISE) is looking for three outcomes at NAIG: a good time, a gold medal for Team BC lacrosse and to catch the eye of NCAA college scouts.
“I am looking to help our team win a gold medal and hope to enjoy the competition too,” shared Michael Maresca. “I understand that there will be some college scouts watching.”
Maresca rolled his ankle during tryouts earlier this year so was not able to start the season with a local team; however, he is looking to get on with at least the Westshore Bears’ Junior B team. His priority will be to have a great NAIG in front of the scouts in Toronto.
“Next year I would like to play for the Bears or even better, the Jr. Shamrocks.”
Maresca is a transition player. “My job is to get that ball out of our own end and help make plays happen at the other end.”
Maresca, a recent grad of Royal Bay Secondary, will be representing Team BC’s U19 men’s team in Toronto.
Asked of his chances to bringing home gold he said, “There is a really good culture of lacrosse here; we have a lot of talent. I think we can win.”
Maresca made Team BC at tryouts that took place in Kamloops Aug. 13-14, 2016 where 110 athletes competed for spots on the development squad to play in the triennial exhibition of sport, art, and culture.
At PISE, Thursday night, Maresca was getting specific fitness coaching from former Shamrocks player Chris McElroy and high-performance Kinesiologist Chris Hinton. The intense workouts help to prepare his core and upper body for the intensity of box lacrosse. Maresca was taking the workout seriously.
Asked how his ankle is now, he was quick to confirm that it is “good to go”.
McElroy is the head coach of the U16 boy’s lacrosse team.
Maresca will be joined by fellow Greater Victoria athletes, John Etzel (Saanichton), Nick Murray (North Saanich), Darius Skunk (Victoria), Ambrose and Landon Underwood (Saanichton) and Kaleb Vivier (Victoria).
The opening ceremonies will take place on the 16th at the Aviva Centre.
To follow the games, visit the NAIG 2017 website>>