Aug 24, 2016

2016 Jr NLL Tournament.jpg(August 24, 2016)… This weekend, nearly 60 kids will experience the thrill of being a Rochester Knighthawk, as three Jr. Knighthawks teams will take on opponents from the around the National Lacrosse League at the fourth annual Junior NLL Tournament.

“I am really excited. It’s a cool opportunity for me,” said Bantam forward Tanner Soudan, whose dad, Tim, played for the Knighthawks. “It’s fun to travel and I just love playing box lacrosse.”

The Knighthawks have entered teams at the PeeWee, Bantam and Midget levels at the event, which will he held at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC) and Joshua’s Creek Arenas in Oakville, Ontario from Friday, August 26th to Sunday, August 28th. The competition includes teams representing the Buffalo Bandits, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, New England Black Wolves, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock and Vancouver Stealth, along with Jr. Edmonton and Jr. Philadelphia clubs.

[IMG_2657] Over 400 players will play in the Jr. NLL Tournament with NLL players, coaches and staff serving as Jr. NLL coaches. The players on the Knighthawks coaching staff include Dan Dawson, Brad Gillies, Quinn Powless, Brad Self, and Andrew Suitor, and former Knighthawks star Mike Accursi. Additional coaches include box lacrosse coaching veterans Cam Hill and Ron Elijah.

“We are pretty confident in our kids’ abilities,” said Gillies. “I think they are going to surprise a lot of people.”

Knighthawks defenseman Mike Manley, who has worked alongside Gillies at practice, said he was encouraged by the grit and eagerness of the kids to learn the box game.

“I have been impressed with their will to get at after it and their attitudes,” he said. “They’re young and it’s a new game to them. They are sponges right now and just absorbing everything the coaches are telling them. They are doing really well out on the floor.”

[IMG_3272] The Jr. Knighthawks players will be outfitted in official Knighthawks jerseys, shorts, and Under Armour© gloves. Michael Tangredi, whose favorite player is Dan Dawson, is thrilled to embark on his first Jr. NLL Tournament.

“Ever since I started watching the Knighthawks, I have wanted to play for them,” said the Midget forward. “Playing on the junior team will be a really good experience for me. It’s the first step in getting on the actual team when I am older after college.”

The Jr. Knighthawks Midget team will open the Jr. NLL Tournament with an 8:00 a.m. showdown against the Jr. Rock at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre. The bantams will face off against Jr. Black Wolves at 10:00 a.m. at the TRAC, while the PeeWee team will go up against the Jr. Wings at 11:00 a.m. immediately following the bantam game.

Fans can watch select games from the tournament live online at jvisportsnetwork.com, courtesy of JVI Video Production, plus follow scores and stats powered by Pointstreak.com.

You can also follow the Jr. Knighthawks’ Quest for the Champion’s Cup on the team’s official social media accounts:

Twitter: @RocKnighthawks 
Instagram: @rocknighthawks 
Snapchat: @rocknighthawks
Facebook: @RochesterKnighthawks 
Flickr (Photo Galleries): Rochester Knighthawks
Website: Knighthawks.com 

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