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UTSC lacrosse player scoops rookie of the year award

First-year political science student Jason Barnable in action as a middie for the Varsity Blues.

Jason Barnable, playing as a middie for the University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues men’s lacrosse team, has scooped up the 2015 CUFLA outstanding rookie award.

So how does the first-year UTSC political science student feel about the honour?

“Awesome!” says Barnable, “It’s something I heard about at the beginning of the year, and it’s a big accomplishment for me.”

It all started when Barnable was a little kid growing up in Whitby, Ont., where a neighbour who played baseball with his dad was also big on lacrosse. It’s where Jason started playing and soon discovered that he liked the game. A lot.

“I played hockey, too, but I just really enjoyed playing lacrosse,” says Barnable. “It’s a lot of fun and when you really enjoy something, you want to do whatever you can to be the best at it.”

He was recruited to the U of T Varsity Blues this past fall and ranks second on the team with 28 goals and eight assists over 12 games played in the 2015 season. His top two performances this seasibearned six points in two games: against Laurier (Sept. 26) and in an exciting win over Nipissing (Oct. 17).

Barnable was recruited to the team along with Zach Holmes, also of Whitby, Ont. ­ The boys played together for the Whitby Warriors and on the school team at Donald A. Jackson High School.

“Growing up, my lacrosse team was my hockey team, too,” he says. “They are a great group of friends.”

Adapting to university as a Varsity athlete has had it’s share of challenges, says Barnable. But through adversity forged on the field a bond has formed among the team that has helped tremendously with the transition.

“We had study groups and we would go to the library before practice, where everyone would help each other. We have some guys on the team in fourth year studying political science that would help me study for tests.”

And Jason’s paying it forward, too, helping to coach a team of Grade 7 and 8s in Whitby. “I help support the coach and the kids with technique,” says Jason. “And it makes it easier for them, they can relate to me and I can relate back to them.”

What does lacrosse mean to Jason?

“It’s changed my life,” he says. “It’s helped me meet so many people at university that I’ve become really good friends with that I’ll probably have the rest of my life.”

As for tips to any young lacrosse players, Barnable says to have fun and be persistent. “Treat it like a hobby and you’ll always want to play.”



© University of Toronto Scarborough