Oakville, ON – The National Lacrosse League has announced the third annual Junior NLL Tournament, a weekend-long competition amongst youth clubs representing NLL teams across North America, will return to Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC) in Oakville, Ontario from Friday, August 28 to Sunday, August 30.
The league also announces several Jr. NLL awards to be named after Tucker Williams, the late son of 17-year NLL veteran Shawn Williams, who passed away in December after battling Burkitt’s Lymphoma. The eight-year-old from Whitby, Ont., an accomplished lacrosse and hockey player, touched the lives of many during his “Braver Than Brave” fight against the rare form of cancer.
“The courage exhibited by Tucker during his life has been and continues to be an inspiration to all who came in contact with him,” said NLL Commissioner George Daniel. “It is a privilege for us to help honour Tucker’s memory with the Jr. NLL awards.”
The Jr. NLL Most Valuable Player (Tucker Williams Award) honour will be awarded to the tournament’s top player in each of three age levels while the Jr. NLL Player of the Game (Braver Than Brave Award) will recognize the most outstanding player from each team after every game.
“It’s an awesome tribute to Tucker Williams, he played like an MVP,” said Rock Owner, President and General Manager Jamie Dawick. “It’s a fitting award to give out to the MVP of the tournament.”
The Buffalo Bandits, Colorado Mammoth, Edmonton Rush, New England Black Wolves, Rochester Knighthawks, Toronto Rock and Vancouver Stealth, along with the Jr. Wings, will be represented on 21 teams across Peewee, Bantam & Midget age levels. The teams will follow modified NLL playing rules in a safe, competitive environment. NLL players, coaches and staff will be on-hand all weekend with some serving as Jr. NLL coaches in addition to a player demonstration and autograph event set to take place on Saturday.
“Last year was bigger and better than the first,” Dawick said. “We are expecting this year’s event to be even better. With this being the third year of the Jr. NLL Tournament, there is some tradition being established and we’re excited to have it here at the TRAC.”
Fans will be able to watch select games from the tournament live online at jvisportsnetwork.com, courtesy of JVI Video Production. More information including a full broadcast schedule will be released prior to the event.
The Toronto Rock Athletic Centre, which features two lacrosse rinks along with the Rock’s offices and training facilities, has hosted several league events over the past three years including the NLL Draft, Combine and Season Awards Ceremony, along with preseason exhibition games. The state-of-the-art TRAC continues to serve as one of the premier indoor lacrosse facilities in North America and remains as a box lacrosse hub for players of all ages and skill levels.