Dave Glover is eager to get back to work on taking the sport with the richest history in the city into a new era.
It was back in late January when Glover was named president of the Delta Lacrosse Association — the organization that oversees the box and field versions of the game. Soon after, hometown National Lacrosse League standout Mitch Jones was named DLA’s first-ever technical director to oversee player and coaching development.
The Vancouver Warriors star had already run a number of sessions at the Ladner Outdoor Box before everything came to halt amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it appears a mid-to late May start to the boxla season would be the absolute best case scenario. That’s hardly ideal for the only Lower Mainland sport that has the length of its season dictated by ice returning to local arenas sometime in August.
“With a potential start-up date moving forward, we are on a two-day alert kind of thing with the Lower Mainland Lacrosse Commission,” explained Glover. “We are ready to go for the most part. Our teams are mostly formed. Coaches are mostly in place and of our tryouts have been done. Everything is just on hold.”
As a player, coach and now an administrator, Glover has been involved in lacrosse for much of his life.
He has seen it all from the grassroots level up to senior, including last summer when he used his degree in motion picture arts to film a documentary on the Ladner Pioneers’ season dedicated to former player and coach Thomas Haydon.
Now he has begun to put a structure in place to take the DLA to new heights on a consistent basis.
“The reason I feel I am here is instilling a program for Delta. That’s why I want to do this. I want to bring a vision. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work but at least we are going to try,” said Glover from his family farm in Ladner. “Let’s say Coquitlam is the high mark (for lacrosse development) or Orangeville (Ontario) or Victoria. If you are going from tyke to novice (in those associations) you know the names of the drills. Everything is called the same.
“By bringing Mitch in, we are making a program to support our coaches and show them this is how we do it. This is the Delta way to play lacrosse. Every coach will have different ideas but the drills will be the same, the breakouts will be the same and all the little things will be the same so that from mini-tyke all the way up to Bantam these kids will know how to play Delta Lacrosse.”
To better emphasize skill development, tyke age teams will no longer be travelling around the Lower Mainland to play a league schedule. Instead, there will be small-sided games so kids of similar skill level will be on the floor at the same time to enhance their growth as a player and, even more importantly, enjoy the game more.
What has Glover enthused is Delta Lacrosse is hardly starting from ground zero.
The association already has a solid track record of developing talent that has gone to the pro and university levels. From current NLL stars Logan Schuss and Jones, to the soaring stock of junior standout Haiden Dickson and Ohio State University bound Mitch Sandberg.
“I think lacrosse should be the number one sport in Delta. If you put up the number of kids to get full ride scholarships against any sport in Delta
I would say we have more than any other combined,” added Glover.
“We have a direct line to scholarships. Opportunities for boys is amazing and the opportunity for girls is out of control.
Glover is also excited to see progress being made on the city constructing a cover over the Ladner Outdoor Box, with lighting.
It would pave the way for tryouts and pre-season training to begin much earlier. Delta would be on par with other associations such as Langley that has a covered outdoor box at McLeod Athletic Park and a year-round dry floor arena at the Langley Events Centre.