Vancouver Warriors

Forever Mimico: How Ontario Lacrosse Helped Shape Jackson Suboch

February 22, 2024 - National Lacrosse League (NLL)
Vancouver Warriors News Release

As the Warriors prepare to battle the Toronto Rock this weekend, defenceman Jackson Suboch has fond memories of the tight knit lacrosse community in Ontario that guided him to be a first-year player in Vancouver.

Many lacrosse players have friends they met playing Junior A ball who end up being their people for life, and Suboch grew up playing with the same group from the time he played house league, at seven years old, through to his early 20's playing Junior A lacrosse.

He also played hockey until he was 16 with the same friends he stepped foot in the box with.

"Not everyone has the same group of friends for both sports growing up and I think it really helped my development, and I know we had a boat load of fun together," Suboch said.

The 6'5" defender was always the tallest kid on any of his sports teams and one day at a hockey game his dad's friend noticed Suboch moved well for his size and suggested he be enrolled in lacrosse.

His dad took the advice and Suboch loved lacrosse so much it became his summer sport going forward.

In house league, Suboch got the chance to try every position on the floor, playing offence, defence and goalie. The focus was about kids learning the game and having fun playing it. In U17 lacrosse, the Etobicoke native decided he was best suited to be a defender because of his size and how he thought the game.

"I've definitely got a mind for it and picked up on certain things quicker than an o-guy might, so I think I just kind of naturally gravitated towards it," Suboch said.

Playing lacrosse in the summers in Mimico (southern Etobicoke) was fun and unique because the parents of the players decided to band together and create an extended family within the group. Playing teams across Ontario throughout the summer; there were a few round robin tournaments at the beginning of the summer and then qualifiers to seed teams for the playoffs. Qualifiers consisted of six games in a weekend, and during those weekends all the parents and kids from the team spent time together at barbeques in between games, which are some of Suboch's most memorable early memories of the sport.

"As a kid, you don't really get it, but now I'm older and I understand that they put a lot of time and money into it," he said. "They provided us a fun, safe, area to cover and hang out and get to know each other better and become super tight like brothers."

They'd bring entire camping set-ups with tents, chairs, coolers and plenty of food for the players. Suboch said their team was the only one in their league that caravaned together and he laughed because they used to call it "Tent City".

In Junior A with the Mimico club, Suboch played against fellow Warrior Owen Grant who suited up for Beaches Lacrosse Club. When Suboch played, Mimico won every season series called the Crombie Cup against Grant and the two also battled on the field in college - Grant for Delaware and Suboch for University of Massachusetts.

Suboch loves to tease his Ontario brethren about the Crombie Cup and his college record against Grant, and the ribbing is only part of the fun of playing alongside the Warriors rookie.

"I love Owen, I f-ing love the guy. He's such a good guy. He's funny, he's a great rookie, and I have nothing but good things to say about Owen and we're very happy to have him. He's a stud out there, he's a horse," Suboch exclaimed.

In his first year with the Vancouver Warriors, Suboch feels a sense of community similar to what he experienced with Mimico.

"It is bar none the best part of my week. I get to come and see the boys, hang out, smash heads for a couple hours and play the game we love," he said.

As the Warriors gear up for a clash against the Toronto Rock this weekend, it's just the second time in Suboch's NLL career that he'll be playing at home in front of family and friends.

"It's very special. Obviously, it's a tough task going to Toronto and getting a win," he said. "I prepare for games to play hard for my teammates, but playing in front of family is still a little extra gas in the tank to go as hard as you possibly can. I don't really need much to get up for this one."

He would always go to Toronto Rock games as a kid and was inspired to pursue a pro lacrosse career by several Ontario standouts including Jim Veltman, NLL All-Star Brodie Merrill and 14-year Buffalo Bandits' veteran Steve Priolo. He even watched former Toronto Rock captain, Veltman's last game and remembers his retirement lap.

As Suboch takes the floor in the arena where his dreams of pro lacrosse started, he gets to continue his story amidst the cheers of those who have supported him from the beginning.

• Discuss this story on the National Lacrosse League message board...

National Lacrosse League Stories from February 22, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central