By Sam Laskaris

You’ll have to forgive Tyler Eames for not constantly thinking of what is going on in his hometown of Whitby. That’s because Eames is mostly focused on his schooling and lacrosse season south of the border. “Being in Florida sometimes I almost forget home exists,” Eames said. He’s currently in his junior (third) year at Florida’s Saint Leo University, an NCAA Division II school.

Eames was quite thrilled, however, this past week when he received a phone call from an old acquaintance, Brad MacArthur, who was his Junior B lacrosse coach with the Clarington-based Green Gaels. MacArthur is now the head coach and general manager of the Brooklin Lacrosse Club. MacArthur phoned Eames to notify him he’d be one of the players the Brooklin squad would be protecting ahead of the Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) Entry Draft, which will be held this Thursday (Mar. 18).

“When I heard Brad was reaching out I was pretty happy,” Eames said. “I knew the draft was Thursday but I didn’t know all the protection list rules and how it would work.” All six teams in the MSL are allowed to protect a maximum of four graduating junior players from their affiliate squads.

Besides Eames, Brooklin is also protecting Brady Kearnan, Darren Elliott and Ryan Barnable, who have all been key members of minor and junior organizations throughout Durham Region throughout their youth careers.

MacArthur is well aware what the Brooklin organization will be getting from Eames. “Eames is a reliable two-way player that has continually developed as he's matured,” he said. The pair have already enjoyed some success together. Eames was on the MacArthur-coached Green Gaels team that advanced to the championship final of the 2016 Founders Cup, the national Junior B tournament.

The Green Gaels settled for the silver medal at that national tourney as they were defeated 11-6 by the host Orangeville Northmen in the gold-medal match.

Eames played the next three seasons at the Junior A level with the Whitby Warriors. Eames has also found success in the field lacrosse game in the collegiate ranks. Last season, in a campaign which ended prematurely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eames was leading the Saint Leo squad in scoring with 24 points, including 16 goals, in just five contests. Saint Leo’s 2021 season is scheduled to start this Friday (Mar. 19).

Eames is hoping there will be some spring/summer lacrosse to play once he returns to Ontario after his school year is over. All of Ontario’s 2020 box lacrosse seasons were cancelled because of the pandemic. Eames is hoping it won’t be too long before he gets to don a Brooklin jersey. “Growing up (in Whitby), that was the team we all wanted to play for,” he said.

Eames believes he is ready to step into the MSL but also realizes he might need to further develop first with Brooklin’s Ontario Series Lacrosse affiliate, the Merchants Lacrosse Club. “I think I’m ready but I’ll go wherever they ask me to go and do whatever they want me to,” he said.