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Dew wins box, field lacrosse titles

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Lacrosse became a full-time commitment for Tillsonburg's Owen Dew this year and it paid off with a pair of provincial titles.

"In field we won a (U17) B Division provincial championship, about the end of May, and in box we won the Midget B provincials a few weeks ago in Whitby," said Dew, who was tournament MVP winning his first box provincial title. "A tie (at the box provincials) was our closest game. Our coach watched a lot of the games and figured out the other teams, where their strengths were. So we figured that out and shut the other teams down pretty easily."

Playing in box and field lacrosse seasons, the 14-year-old had his own-age midget teams (players born 2000 and 2001) and he was an AP with the older juniors.

"Box in London... and London and Oneida for field. Oneida's a relatively new program, but we've made a name for ourselves."

His Oneida U15 team, considered a junior varsity team, plays the majority of its games in US tournaments to get maximum exposure to American college scouts.

"Right now, I'm doing U19 London field and I'm going to be starting U15 Oneida soon. Earlier in the year I was doing London midget box and the junior team."

Just over six-feet tall, he had the size to play junior on a rebuilding Blue Devils box team, playing more than half of the team's games in net.

"Some of the guys are really good," Dew admitted. "I'm fitting in quite nicely. Some taller guys, some shorter."

His time commitment depends on the season and his teams. This year he was playing lacrosse up to seven times a week at one point - seven nights a week from the end of March until the end of June.

"Now I'm just going one night a week," he smiled, noting he was between seasons. "I've never had so much time..."

Dew has a different position for each season, playing 'long pole' in field (defence) and goalie for box, a position he started playing five years ago in peewee.

"I do it because the two sports - field and box - although they are still called lacrosse, they are really different. So I don't want to be two kinds of goalies and mess with myself like that. I just want to do two different things and have two mindsets, and not worry about confusing them."

Field lacrosse goalies have to defend a bigger net - 6x6 vs 4x4.

"A field goalie, you're not trying to block it with your body, you're trying to catch it. It's completely different."

Box goaltending remains his favourite.

"It's just a really interesting position. I've liked it over the years, so I worked really hard to get good at it... I've faced a lot of shots in the last couple of years."

As a box goalie, Dew had one shutout this year against Team New Brunswick in a tournament, and he had an impressive 1.00 GAA at the box provincials.

Looking further ahead, Dew knows there are opportunities in lacrosse, and his coaches are educating the players on how to keep those opportunities open.

"So we know what we have to do to get where we want to be."

Dew hopes one day to get a US scholarship (Division I or III), and some day would like to play pro lacrosse - box and field - admitting it's a tough road.

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