Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/10/10
From Press Releases and Staff Reports
Three members of the Philadelphia Wings and a Wings assistant coach head the list of 23 players that will play for Team Canada as it tries to defend its title in the 2010 world field championships in Manchester, England in July.
Attackmen Kevin Huntley and Merrick Thomson, midfielder Geoff Snider and goalie Chris Sanderson, a Wings assistant coach, were recently named to the squad. The coach is Wings mentor Dave Huntley, Kevin’s father.
The 26-year-old Thomson hasn’t appeared in a game this year after being named most valuable player of the Major Lacrosse League playoffs while helping the Toronto Nationals win the 2009 pro field title. His season was derailed by a high hit during a preseason game.
Thomson was one of the National Lacrosse League’s leading goal scorers last year with 39 and the Wings sure could use that kind of offensive thrust now.
Thomson is on the mend, and setting goals keeps him on a path that will see him back in uniform.
David Huntley is confident that Thomson can return to top form for the world championships.
“It’s a really big accomplishment in my lacrosse career,” Thomson says of his inclusion. “There is no greater honor than to represent your country, especially after watching the Olympics and seeing all the Canadian athletes perform and win. It makes me want to hear the Canadian anthem in England.
“Missing the NLL season has been tough thus far and it hurts to not be playing with my teammates in Philadelphia. This injury does require rest and I have done that and I am now in the process of healing fully due to several key people most notably my trainers, my acupuncturist and osteopath.”
Huntley will be the first to applaud when Thomson pulls the pads back on. “Merrick is doing everything he can to get back on the field,’’ says Huntley. “There is no time line or expected date for a return. It is a slow process and he is handling it in an exemplary manner.”
John Grant, Dan Dawson, Brodie Merrill, Geoff Snider, Gavin Prout, Shawn Williams, Mark Steenhuis and Jordan Hall are among the established pro stars who will push the ball up the field and attack for Canada in Manchester.
Second-year pro Rhys Duch and impressive NLL rookies Garrett Billings, Zack Greer and Kevin Huntley provide young legs in a dynamic offence. Ryan McClelland, a midfielder who is playing in the NCAA at Colgate, also made the team.
Kevin Huntley, who plays for the NLL’s Wings, is the coach’s son.
“I love playing for my dad,’’ he says. “I pretty much have my whole life. He knows how to get me going if I’m down, and he really knows his stuff so it’s easy to make mid-game adjustments when he points out mistakes that are being made. It’s an added bit of pressure on myself sometimes because I hate letting him down.’’
He’s willing to take on any role he’s asked to play.
“It is a great honor to be selected to the team,’’ he says. “I can’t wait for a chance to compete for gold. I am extremely excited about the opportunity that lies ahead. Competing for a world championship while having the chance to play with a great group of guys is going to be something I will never forget.
Roster for Team Canada
Attack: Garrett Billings, Langley, B.C.; John Grant, Peterborough, Ont.; Zack Greer, Whitby, Ont., Kevin Huntley, Baltimore, Md.; Merrick Thomson, Hamilton, Ont.
Midfield: Dan Dawson, Oakville, Ont.; Rhys Duch, Victoria, B.C.; Jordan Hall, Surrey, B.C.; Ryan McClelland, Brampton, Ont.; Gavin Prout, Whitby, Ont.; Billy Dee Smith, St. Catharines, Ont.; Geoff Snider, Calgary, Alb; Mark Steenhuis, St. Catharines, Ont; Shawn Williams, Oshawa, Ont.
Defense: Mac Allen, Toronto, Ont.; Curtis Manning, Surrey, B.C.; Brodie Merrill, Orangeville, Ont.; Patrick Merrill, Orangeville, Ont.; Phil Sanderson, Orangeville, Ont. ; Jon Sullivan, St. Catharines, Ont.; Matt Vinc, St. Catharines, Ont.
Goalie: Angus Dineley, Toronto, Ont.; Evan Kirk, Kitchener, Ont.; Chris Sanderson, Orangeville, Ont.