Sports

Timberwolves on the prowl

Jacob Robinson

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer

Ryan Hale of the Norfolk Timberwolves tries to avoid a Welland defender during the Ontario Lacrosse Association Zone 9 final. The novice and midget Timberwolves captured their respective Zone 9 banners in advance of the Ontario Lacrosse Festival beginning later this week.  Darryl Van Gaal/Contributed photo

Ryan Hale of the Norfolk Timberwolves tries to avoid a Welland defender during the Ontario Lacrosse Association Zone 9 final. The novice and midget Timberwolves captured their respective Zone 9 banners in advance of the Ontario Lacrosse Festival beginning later this week. Darryl Van Gaal/Contributed photo

SIMCOE - 

From top to bottom, the Norfolk Timberwolves organization is on a roll.

First it was the peewee rep team capturing the Ontario Lacrosse Association Zone 9 title, then both the novice and midget boys squads followed suit.

If you ask midget coach Billy Hobbs, his team's road to the title began with a tournament victory in the Halton Hills Bulldog Classic in July. The squad promptly returned to their 'E' division zone playoffs and beat Fort Erie in the final.

“It started in that tournament,” Hobbs explained. “They really started buying into the system and the way we wanted to play. Everyone started working more as a team there.”

The zone title was actually the first time in a while the Timberwolves were fully healthy. At one point the roster was down to the bare bones due to injury.

“We had a couple weeks there where we didn't have 10 kids for four games,” Hobbs said. “Everyone is healthy now and confidence levels are high after a big showing at the tournament and a big zone win.”

Hobbs' squad will look to carry that momentum on to the Ontario Lacrosse Festival in Whitby as they shoot for a provincial title.

“We've got a shot for sure,” said Hobbs, whose team will enter the 'D' division. “If they play like they can there's definitely an opportunity to win it.”

Members of the novice Timberwolves are in a similar head space after capturing the Zone 9 'D' banner over Welland.

“We're for sure going to win (provincials),” player Ryan Hale of Delhi predicted.

The young squad - made up of both veterans and newcomers - knows things won't come easy. In fact, the coaching staff has drawn a hard line going into the premier event of the season.

“(They've said) they're going to be playing people that work hard and if you don't work hard you're not playing,” Timberwolves player/Delhi native Nolan Kungl said.

“We need to be a better team. We played good in zones but we need to play better.”

Kungl became interested in the sport thanks to his friend Hale. As a second year member of the organization, Hale felt “really happy” with the zone win and said there were a few things that allowed Norfolk to reign supreme.

“We just passed together and played well as a team,” he offered.

Area residents can track all Timberwolves teams at their respective provincial tournaments online at ontariolacrossefestival.com.

jrobinson@postmedia.com