NANAIMO — When you coach two teams in two different sports you have to make sacrifices.
Joel Smith is the head coach for the NDSS Academy junior lacrosse team and the junior girls soccer team. Both had big tournaments over the weekend so the coach had to make a choice - soccer or lacrosse?
Smith, who's a teacher at Nanaimo District Secondary School, went with the lacrosse team to Sisters Oregon for the SALI lacrosse tournament. The Islanders went 4-0 to win the event, but Smith admits he wasn't sure what to expect heading in.
"No British Columbia team has ever been in that tournament before. We walked through the round robin and then in the final we beat a team called Sunset from Oregon 7-2," Smith said.
As the lacrosse team was hard at work south of the border the Islanders junior girls soccer team was busy in Nanaimo. Smith handed the coaching reins to Gunnar Myhrer who guided the girls to an undefeated record in the Vancouver Island championship co-hosted by NDSS and Dover Bay. A 2-2 draw with Oak Bay forced NDSS into the third place game thanks to a tie breaker, and the Islanders went on to a 2-0 win against Claremont.
The junior girls also finished third in 2016. There isn't a provincial championship at that level but the Island tournament capped off a season that saw NDSS post an 11-0-1 record.
Smith grew up playing lacrosse and soccer and now he's turned his focus towards coaching, a lot of coaching.
"This year I was an assistant (soccer) coach with the U16 Storm of the VIPL," he said. "I helped coach a Bantam B (lacrosse) boys team that had Brad Dougan as the head coach, and then helped coach the midget girls team with Andy 'Gump' Reynolds."
Time management is crucial for Smith. He sits down with his wife to map out a schedule for each week. It isn't easy and Smith concedes he has forgotten one or two things along the way. With the success of the NDSS teams he coaches the potential for more scheduling conflicts is quite likely down the road.
Smith calls lacrosse his number one sport, but he refers to soccer as a passion.
The last day of classes at NDSS is June 22 and for Smith that day will begin a well-earned summer break.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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