Okotoks was a focal point in the first live draft in the history of the Alberta Major Female lacrosse league.
Brooklynn Carson was selected first overall to her hometown Okotoks Ladies Raiders with fellow-Okotokian Lexi Ballance hearing her name called six picks later in the 2024 Alberta Major Female lacrosse league draft on Feb. 4 at the Canadian Brewhouse in Okotoks.
“I was really excited to be the first girl to go first overall in the first live draft, that was really awesome,” Carson said. “It was a once in a lifetime experience.
“And I was excited that my friends and family could be part of it and come cheer us on and just excited about playing local too.”
Both Carson and Ballance, Grade 11 students at Foothills Composite, have affiliated with the Raiders in past seasons and have strong relationships with current players and the coaching staff.
There are three teams involved in the southern portion of the draft, the Raiders, Calgary Cardinals and Silvertips.
They both had a hunch Okotoks would be their destination.
“It was a really exciting experience, especially because it was the first women’s live draft,” Ballance said. “I was excited to get together with the coaches and talk to them about what the next little bit is going to look like.”
The loudest cheers in the building during the draft might have been from Carson and Ballance when they found out they would be playing together for a fourth season.
“I think she and I were the loudest ones cheering when we both went up,” Carson said.
The duo played together as members of the Fury Lacrosse club, the Selects and for U17 Team Alberta last summer where they won bronze at nationals.
“It was a really good experience, especially having those relationships with the girls and being able to bring it all to the floor,” Ballance said.
Preseason training gets underway this week for the Raiders with the regular season typically starting in late-April.
The Ladies Raiders have been a part of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League since 2017 and are coming off an improved season in which they posted a record of 8-8 in the seven-team provincial loop.
The draft system was introduced in the league in 2023.
For more information on the Raiders follow them on Facebook and go to rockymountainlax.com.