To win a national championship once is special, but to win it twice in two different divisions? Not a lot of people can say they've done that in consecutive years.
That is with the exception of Bearspaw native and Cochrane High School student Nick Drennan, who won the National Junior B Championship - the Founders' Cup - with the Calgary Shamrocks at the tournament in Winnipeg on Aug. 18 after his Shamrocks defeated the Six Nations Rebels 16-15 in a thrilling final game. It was just the fourth time in the last 47 years that a team from Alberta has won the trophy. Almost a year ago to the date of winning his second consecutive national championship, Drennan also won the annual Junior National Lacrosse League (NLL) with the Calgary Jr. Roughnecks after they defeated the Toronto Jr. Rock 7-5 in the finals to claim the trophy.
Drennan suited up in 13 of the 19 games in the regular season with the Shamrocks, scoring one goal and added two assists while playing a sound defensive game as he helped Calgary reach a 19-1 record, their one blemish coming on May 4 in a 10-7 loss to the Fort Saskatchewan Rebels. Drennan then chipped in with one assist in five playoff games and suited up for all six games in nationals. The Shamrocks would go on to win the Larry Bishop Memorial Trophy as league champions as well as sweeping the best-of-three Alberta Provincials.
In the national tournament, Calgary went 5-1 with their one loss coming in the round-robin to Six Nations in a 19-3 game. Calgary defeated the Saskatchewan Swat 23-9, the Seneca War Chiefs 16-5, the North Shore Kodiaks 12-5 and the Manitoba Blizzard 17-6.
"When the buzzer sounded and we were crowned national champions is a feeling I won't forget," Drennan said of his most recent accomplishment. "I was so excited to celebrate this accomplishment with my teammates ... overall it was an awesome season."
"We had a goal throughout the whole season, which was winning the Founders' Cup. This meant going into each game during the season and playing like we were at the tournament. This helped us be successful during the regular season with our 19-1 record and we managed to carry over the momentum into the post season."
The 18-year-old, who is in his first full season with the Shamrocks, said he felt good about his game and saw a lot of improvement from himself throughout the season.
"I felt a lot more confident this year as a full-time player. I played solid defensively and succeeded in helping my team in any way I could. Overall, I played well and had a good year," Drennan said.
"I feel like my game got better. Our coaches are some of the best that I've been with since I started playing lacrosse. I'm an overall better defender and better at making smarter decisions on the floor."
Drennan will return to the Shamrocks next season with his sights set on earning a scholarship to play field lacrosse in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).