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Lacrosse player off to nationalsby Stacey Colwell
Provincial lacrosse player Aleksandr Stabenow is a former sportsman of the year at Park View Education Centre.
Between working 12-hour days and playing competitive lacrosse, Aleksandr Stabenow hasn't had a chance to spend much time at home in West Dublin this summer.
"I basically live out of my car, and the mess [and] smell of lacrosse gear and beach towels shows it," said an e-mail from the 20-year-old surfer.
"I usually work 12-hour days landscaping for Jimmy Seaboyer," he said. "If I have practice or a game he very generously lets me off early. It gets pretty tiring, but I like to keep busy."
The St. FX business student is expected to be the lone player from outside Metro to represent Nova Scotia with the provincial team at the Founder's Cup Canadian Junior B Lacrosse Championships in Mimico, Ontario from August 16 to 22.
Still, he said it's hard to improve his game without an active program here.
"I have no one to practice with while I am home. Ever since lacrosse left the South Shore, I can't even buy a ball without going as far as Halifax."
Despite having to jump that hurdle, last year he helped the X-Men go undefeated in the Maritime University Field Lacrosse League regular season and this summer he's excelling in junior A box lacrosse for the Halifax Southwest Hurricanes.
"He always shows up for practice even though he's always the guy who's furthest away," said coach Glenn Dunbar.
"He's dedicated, there's no question about that and he's in great shape. His fitness level is off the charts."
Mr. Dunbar said he's also a leader.
"Alex is a real positive young man, and I think he'll excel not only at the Founder's Cup, but I firmly believe he will excel at whatever he does in life."
His coach with the Founder's Cup team said Mr. Stabenow is a gifted athlete who fights hard for loose balls, is a tough defender and good offensively.
"And above all, a team player and a sportsman," said Rod Humphreys.
The Founder's Cup trip is expected to cost $1,300 per player, which presents an added challenge for the former Park View Education Centre student.
"We are doing different things as a team to raise money like auctions, dances, etc., but these don't really help me out because they are all in Halifax and I can't sell tickets for that down here. The repercussions are that we have to settle our account balance when all is said and done out of our own pocket.
"This is a perfect example of how not enough money is going into athletics in Nova Scotia. It is also the same reason why there is no longer lacrosse on the South Shore — registration and startup costs are too high, so parents are obviously going to put their kids in something cheaper like soccer."
Despite the challenges of playing lacrosse at a high level without a local program, Mr. Stabenow said his mother, Nancy, has been steadfast in her support of his athletic passion.
"She has always been there for not only me and my five siblings, but also other kids who are not as fortunate as us. She rarely ever misses any of our sporting events or any other extracurricular activities and still manages to be one of the best, if not the best, human resources consultant in Atlantic Canada."
To make a contribution to Mr. Stabenow's fundraising campaign, send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 688-1394.
posted on 08/03/10
Photos courtesy of Chriss Herman
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