Delta Islanders Junior Lacrosse Club ushered out 2018 with its annual awards banquet on Saturday.
It was a season of significant transition as B.C. Lacrosse adopted the five-year junior division and dropped intermediate — putting the provincial organization on par with the rest of the country.
The Islanders proceeded to floor three teams — including at the new Junior “B” Tier One level. The hope is to be represented in all four junior tiers in 2019.
The night’s junior “A” award winners reflected the club’s promising future as it looks to climb back into contention for a Minto Cup berth over the next couple of seasons. The club finished at 6-14 — a two win improvement on the 2017 campaign with just three players lost to graduation.
Haiden Dickson picked up two awards as the team’s most valuable offensive player and rookie-of-the-year. He led Delta with 30 goals and still has three years of junior eligibility remaining.
Riley Taylor was also a double winner — taking home the MVP defender award while sharing top graduating player honours with Riley Phillips and Brad Phillips.
Both goaltenders picked up awards as Brody Harris was named Most Inspirational Player and Matt Hills Most Improved.
Harris earned All-Tournament honours in helping Canada win gold at last summer’s 2018 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship in Saskatoon. He was joined on the team by Dickson and defender Brandon Szabo.
Ryan Jones earned the team MVP Award — reflecting his value on and off the floor. The high-scoring 20-year-old led Delta with 59 points in 18 games before being traded to the New West Salmonbellies where he enjoyed a huge post-season with 29 points in nine games.
That deal yielded the Islanders’ Maple Ridge prospect Mason Morais and a second round pick in the 2019 Midget Draft. Jones’ playing rights also revert back to Delta in 2019 for his final season of junior.
Rounding out the Junior "A" Awards was Brad Phillips being presented the Dave Pirog Memorial Trophy as the team’s unsung hero.
The Islanders Tier One award winners included Isaac Richmond and Quinn Bianchini as top offensive and defensive players respectively.
The awards were determined by Islanders co-head coaches Kyle Goundrey and Andy Ogilvie, along with GM Matt Disher. All three will be back next season, as will team president Darcy Phillips who recently agreed to another two-year term.
The BCJALL Midget Draft will take place next Saturday in Langley with the Islanders having a first round pick (seventh) for the first time in recent memory as compensation for Tre LeClaire landing with New West last season.