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2018-07-19


Latrell Harris playing against the USA in Blue Group play.

Brock Badgers defender Latrell Harris is the first CUFLA player to represent Canada at the FIL World Championships in eight years and the rare student-athlete to make the national team while he\'s still in school.

Courtesy: Canadian Lacrosse Association
Netanya, Israel


Latrell Harris, 20, is not only the youngest member of Canada's senior men’s lacrosse team, he is the only active Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) player in recent memory to crack the national team roster and represent his country at a World Championship.
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Canada’s defense is anchored by big names such as Brodie Merrill and Jason Noble, who have played at top American lacrosse schools like Georgetown and Denver.
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While Harris’ path to the national team may be different than that of his teammates, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t belong.
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He recently completed his first field lacrosse season for the Brock University Badgers in his hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario. Brock competes in the 15-team Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA), which features teams from Ontario and Quebec.
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CUFLA provides an opportunity for athletes, many of whom play Junior A or Junior B box lacrosse, to stay involved with the field game after their minor careers are over. While the league offers the highest caliber field lacrosse in Canada, it’s been since 2010 that a CUFLA athlete was named to the national field team. That squad featured Mac Allen from Bishops University, as well as Jon Sullivan and Shawn Williams from Brock.
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Although the odds were not in his favor, Brock University’s head coach Tim Luey was not surprised that Harris was the first CUFLA player to make Canada’s final roster in eight years.
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"I'm not aware of any other Brock lacrosse or Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association player to make the national men's team while still playing university lacrosse in Canada," said Luey. “I think this illustrates how good Canadian university field lacrosse is. A season of CUFLA, playing a tough schedule which includes NCAA teams, helped prepare him to make Team Canada.”
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“Latrell is a world class athlete, added Luey. “His dedication and commitment to training is a big reason he’s able to compete at this level. He is never complacent in his play and that has definitely helped him get to where he is today.“
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It was a successful season for the Badgers, a perennial league champion, who lost to the Western University Mustangs in the 2017 Baggataway Cup finals last fall, with Harris earning CUFLA All-Canadian honours along the way.
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Harris, who also plays professionally for the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League (NLL), was all smiles fresh off his first game representing Canada, a 12-6 win over England.
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“Getting to see what it would be like in the first couple of minutes was incredible,” he said. “It was a pretty cool experience.”
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As if representing his country on the international wasn’t enough, Harris gets to do it alongside his cousin, Tyson Bell, 23, who is also a defender for Canada and St. Catharines native.
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“This will be memorable because we get to take this experience in together,” said Harris. “It’s gonna go down in the books.”
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Bell, on the other hand, was overcome with emotion after he found out Harris had cracked the lineup and that they would be travelling to Israel together.
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"I had some tears, I'm not going to lie," he told the?St. Catharines Standard?in a July 10 interview. "It's nice to be able to do these accomplishments with my little cousin.”
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To make it even more special, both players found the scoresheet in Canada’s tournament opener.
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“It was an amazing feeling,” said Harris, who was selected by his teammates as the Player of the Game. “My cousin Tyson [Bell] scored first, so I had to score to make it even for the family.”
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Harris finished the preliminary round with one goal and three loose balls.
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It’s been since 2015 with the St. Catharines Athletics Junior A team that Harris and Bell last played together, but it seems that it was well worth the wait as they will now get the chance to help Canada capture to a World Championship title in Israel.
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Canada’s next game is Thursday, July 19, at 11:00am ET against the Iroquois Nationals. Watch the action live on TSN2,?W88TSN.ca?or by using the TSN App. Visit?http://bit.ly/2018WorldLaxTSN?for the complete streaming schedule.
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Schedule
The complete match schedule, including playoff brackets, can be found?here.
  • July 13 @ 2:00pm ET vs England (12-6 Win)
  • July 14 @ 11:00am ET vs Scotland (22-3 Win)
  • July 15 @ 12:00pm ET vs United States (11-1 Loss)
  • July 16 @ 2:00pm ET vs Iroquois Nation (10-5 Win)
  • July 17 @ 7:30am ET vs Australia (13-7 Win)
  • July 19 @ 11:00am ET vs Iroquois Nationals
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Information
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