Cody Teichroeb left the Okanagan in pursuit of greater lacrosse opportunities, played for the Okotoks Raiders Junior A team, helping them win silver at the provincial championships. Photo: Garrett James Langley Events Centre

Kelowna athlete looks to make it to the pros

Cody Teichroeb’s lacrosse career is emblematic of his journey: He has done all the extras and worked his way for what he has earned.

Having just graduated from high school, Teichroeb left the Okanagan in pursuit of greater lacrosse opportunities. He arrived not knowing anyone, but to him, the risk was worth the reward.

“I just moved out here hoping I would get a good look and I got a bit lucky, I guess,” Teichroeb said.

Teichroeb had played a pair of seasons of Junior B with the Kelowna Raiders before he came to the Lower Mainland, first as part of the Langley Thunder Junior A program, and then being traded to the Okotoks Raiders Junior A team, helping them win silver at the provincial championships.

Related: B.C. lacrosse legends celebrate Canadian titles, life after crash

While the decision to leave home increased his profile in the lacrosse community, Teichroeb knew he still faced an uphill battle to achieve his dream of playing professionally.

When it came time to increase his draft stock, Teichroeb made the decision to fly across the country to Toronto, which at that point was the site of the only National Lacrosse League Draft Combine.

All of this was done on his own dime with no guarantees.

“I wanted to play professional lacrosse really bad, so I just decided I was going to do this,” Teichroeb said.

The gamble paid off, with Vancouver selecting Teichroeb in the fourth round of the 2016 NLL Draft. The rugged six-foot-two, 210-pound defender suited up in seven games last season for Vancouver and signed a one-year contract with the club earlier this summer.

Related: Okanagan’s Barker signs with National Lacrosse League team

Each draft features fitness and lacrosse testing, a practice run by NLL team coaching staffs, and a game. Coaches, general managers and scouts – from the teams and from colleges and clubs — will have the opportunity to meet the players. And both the participants and team personnel will have access afterwards to test results, practice and game film.

While many of the high-end prospects have cemented their places as sure-fire first round picks, the Combine offers a chance for players to make a lasting impression on the decision makers.

“You have scouts from across the country who will give you their perspective, but it is always nice to put your eyes on an athlete you have never really seen play,” said Calgary Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky. “You always get a scouting report, but it is nice to get a look yourself.”

“It is an opportunity to see guys maybe you have seen once or twice throughout the WLA season and you would like to see them in more of an NLL-type environment with the bigger nets and a little bit different rules,” Malawsky said. “And some guys play better outside their home environments.”

Teichroeb offered up simple advice for others in the same boat he once found himself in: stay focused, ignore the mock drafts, and most importantly, work to the best of your abilities.

“If you come in the best shape of your life and work your hardest, then it is hard for someone to turn you down,” Teichroeb said.

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