It was an experience Cooper Gettel is unlikely to forget anytime soon, if ever.
The 18-year-old from Langley helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2019 World Junior Lacrosse Championships, defeating Iroquois 13-10 in the gold-medal match on August 10.
The six-team championships were held at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga, Ont.
Canada trailed 5-0 in the final game before they came roaring back, taking a 6-5 lead at the half and after the score was tied at seven, scoring six of the final nine goals.
“It was just awesome, seeing all the red and white jerseys in the crowd,” Gettel explained. “The crowd was buzzing. It was like nothing else.”
“Winning the gold was just an amazing feeling (and) I don’t know if anything else would ever be able to do it for me again.”
Canada won their pool following a pair of lopsided victories, 24-4 over Australia and 16-2 against Israel.
They faced Israel again in the playoff round, prevailing 18-4, setting up the final in which Canada had their stiffest test of the competition, up against Iroquois in a rematch of the 2018 gold-medal game.
And once again, Canada would prevail for the gold.
Gettel said he had not planned on joining the team, but was invited to attend Canada’s B.C. combine, showing well enough to earn an invitation to travel with the team to Prague back in April for a tournament.
Gettel played primarily a defence/transition role for the Canadian squad, although he did see spot duty up front, finishing with three goals and four points over the four games.
During the regular season with the Langley Thunder Junior Tier 1 team, he was tied for the goal-scoring lead after potting 23 goals in 14 games. He was also fourth on the team with 31 points.
And having just graduated from Langley Fundamental back in June, Gettel is off to Rochester Institute of Technology, where he will join the Tigers field lacrosse team.