WESTLOCK – Westlock’s Jenna Snyder, a Grade 10 student at R.F. Staples School, and her Team Alberta U17 female box lacrosse teammates won the bronze medal at the Canada Summer Games held in Niagara Falls Aug. 6-21.
Her parents David and Danielle, joined Jenna, 15, at the Games — the first time ever female box lacrosse has been included at the event. The Games had been postponed in 2021 due to COVID-19, a blessing in a way as Jenna would have been too young to compete last year.
“It was super exciting. Even though we didn’t win gold, it was still an experience, just being able to go to that high a level of competition,” she said. “We got to go to play at the highest level for box lacrosse in Canada. And we were the first female box lacrosse team from Alberta to ever play in the Games there, so we made history.”
David noted the teams were split into two pools — the strong one included Alberta, Nova Scotia, B.C. and Ontario, while the second split was provinces where the sport and program is still developing, which included New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec.
Team Alberta, which included girls from Cold Lake, Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, Calgary and Okotoks, played three round robin games in their pool, beating Nova Scotia and Ontario, but losing to B.C.
Alberta finished second in a three-way tiebreaker with B.C. and Ontario, then beat New Brunswick in the quarterfinal, only to lose to B.C. in the semifinal. In their final game, they beat Nova Scotia to score the bronze.
At the Games, Alberta finished fourth overall, bringing home 35 gold, 33 silver and 43 bronze medals, while Jenna noted there were over 400 athletes on the team competing in different sports, including paraplegic sports.
An added perk to her trip to the Games was the opportunity to see Niagara Falls with her parents two times.
“I actually got to see the falls light up the night before, and the fireworks show, and the Saturday after our bronze-medal game, we went on the Maid of the Mist boat and got to see the falls (from that angle).”
Jenna said she plans to continue playing box lacrosse and may try to play at the junior level next year. There is a ‘B’ level box lacrosse (co-ed) team in Westlock, but she currently plays on the ‘A’ level team for the zone out of Stony Plain which she enjoys.
Jenna went the August long weekend of 2021 for tryouts to earn a place on Team Alberta. Since then, and prior to the Games, it’s been a full year of weekend practices.