An Orillia lacrosse player has earned the right to suit up for the U15 Team Ontario field lacrosse team in Florida next weekend.
Patrick Fogarty Secondary School (PF) student Ethan Hardy has only been playing lacrosse for five years, but he’s already on his way to playing at the highest level.
“When we moved into Orillia all the kids talked about was lacrosse tryouts,” Hardy explained. “I asked my dad if I could try out, and it all started from there.”
The Barrie-born and Bolsover-raised Hardy had to catch up to the competition when his lacrosse career got started.
“The other kids had been playing their whole lives and were way ahead of me,” he said. “I was always really confident in myself which really helped me excel.”
Hardy, 15, who plays both box and field lacrosse, says he lives and breathes the sport. His passion for the game has led him to getting noticed by coaches and scouts from across the province.
“I went to the Team Ontario tryouts in September and had a really good performance during the whole thing,” he said. “I was very confident and had a good attitude which I think catches on to coaches.”
Despite his confidence, Hardy admits he was pleasantly surprised to make the team.
“I was excited,” he said. “It’s a big honour to play for the province and represent Orillia.”
Hardy hopes his success will inspire other young players in his hometown.
“I hope this encourages other people to try out for Team Ontario,” he said. “I want more people from Orillia to make it.”
Hardy is set to compete in the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Players Summit from Dec. 7 to 11. During the tournament, coaches and scouts from NCAA teams will be in attendance.
“I’m more motivated to stay focused and play my game knowing there will be people there watching,” he said.
The Orillia Kings midfielder hopes he will be able to commit to a college or university down south by next September. He is seeking offers from either Duke University or the University of Maryland.
“I have high standards,” Hardy said. “I want to have high hopes.”
Up until the last year or two, Hardy didn’t realize his dream of playing Division 1 lacrosse could become a reality.
“I never really thought I would get to the point where people would be reaching out to me with having an interest in my skill and wanting me to play for their schools,” he said.
The end goal for Hardy is to play pro lacrosse someday, but for now, his sights are strictly on earning his post-secondary education.
At least twice a week, Hardy travels to Mississauga to train with EDGE lacrosse. He also plays for the club team.
“The game has certainly taken me places I never thought I’d go,” he said. “I just take it one step at a time.”
Hardy credits Orillia Minor Lacrosse and the coaching staff of the PF lacrosse team for his success.
“They’ve both given me a lot of confidence,” he said. “They’ve made me feel like I can excel and do whatever I want to do.”