Sports

Skills on the rise for Kozak

PLAYING IN the Burnaby Mountain Selects elite boys touring program has helped Penticton’s Isaiah Kozak improve as a player. Kozak earned a spot to play for Team B.C.’s all native team in the 2014 North American Indigenous Games in Regina.  - Submitted photo
PLAYING IN the Burnaby Mountain Selects elite boys touring program has helped Penticton’s Isaiah Kozak improve as a player. Kozak earned a spot to play for Team B.C.’s all native team in the 2014 North American Indigenous Games in Regina.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Isaiah Kozak was five when he fell in love with lacrosse.

A friend encouraged him to play and he had fun scoring goals and hitting people.

“I love just the fact that you get to hit people as much as you want,” said Kozak, adding that he picked up the game quickly. “You get to take your anger out but not viciously. I love the fast pace of it.”

At 6-foot-2, Kozak moves quickly. Not only does he enjoy scoring, but he considers himself a setup man that thrives on making his teammates look good.

“I always love the feeling of making somebody else feel happy,” said Kozak, who plays right side for the Penticton Heat.

Kozak has also seen his skills evolve with the Burnaby Mountain Selects lacrosse program since joining them in September. Kozak praised Brent Hoskins, coach of the BMS boys elite team, for his work with the players.

“What separates Isaiah is his character and leadership on and off the field,” said Hoskins, also the Selects executive director. “Despite this being his first season with our BMS elite touring program, Isaiah has an impressive maturity to his game. He is eager to receive instruction and reads the play very well.

“His ability to think the game is really allowing him to begin to tap into his potential at an expedited rate, which promises to continue opening doors for his future through the sport of lacrosse,” continued Hoskins.

Kozak recently experienced a bump in the road with lacrosse when he was cut from Team B.C. It was an experience that stung him. However, he used it as motivation to get better every day by going to the gym and working on his stick skills outside.

That drive helped the 16-year-old make the B.C. All Native team, which will compete in the North American Indigenous Games in Regina., Sask., July 20-27.

“I took it upon myself to really try and make a statement for when I go and try next time,” said Kozak, of his desire to make Team B.C.

Kozak was ecstatic when he heard his name called.

“It was really nerve racking when they were selecting them,” he said.

Being part of a physically challenging camp involving drills and scrimmages for two days was worth it to Kozak who feels privileged to be chosen.

 

 

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