Langley’s Johnny Pearson wrapped up a stellar four-year career with the Ohio State Buckeyes. On Monday, the 22-year-old was drafted by the National Lacrosse League’s Saskatchewan Rush.                                 Ohio State Athletics

Langley’s Johnny Pearson wrapped up a stellar four-year career with the Ohio State Buckeyes. On Monday, the 22-year-old was drafted by the National Lacrosse League’s Saskatchewan Rush. Ohio State Athletics

‘Dream come true’ for Martel, Pearson

Langley’s Ryan Martel and Johnny Pearson selected in National Lacrosse League draft

The first step to their dream becoming a reality is one step closer for two local lacrosse players.

Langley’s Ryan Martel and Johnny Pearson were selected eight picks apart in Monday’s National Lacrosse League draft.

Martel was picked in the first round, 11th overall, by the Calgary Roughnecks, while Pearson went in the second round, 19th overall, to the Saskatchewan Rush.

The 19-year-old Martel played this past season for the Langley Junior Thunder, winning the BC Junior A Lacrosse League rookie of the year, as well as earning first team all-star honours after posting 43 goals and 97 points in 20 games.

Pearson, 22, spent the past four seasons playing field lacrosse at Ohio State University, where he is currently completing his degree in consumer sciences with a minor in history.

He also returned to Langley this past summer and played senior A box lacrosse with the Langley Thunder.

Martel was actually a teammate on that Thunder team, playing seven games as a call-up.

“I am beyond excited — (this) has been my goal since I started playing lacrosse,” he said.

Martel — who graduated from Aldergrove Community Secondary in 2016 — had the option of waiting to enter the draft in 2018 but opted to declare for 2017 instead.

“I wanted to take my box game to the next level so I though entering was a great idea,” he explained.

Martel is a five-foot-10 right-handed high-scoring forward known for his ability to score

While Martel followed the draft online, Pearson made the trek from Columbus, Ohio with several of his Buckeyes teammates to the draft in Oakville, Ont.

“It’s an incredibly humbling experience,” Pearson said. “Getting the chance to pursue a career in the NLL has been a dream of mine since I started playing lacrosse.”

While Martel will try and crack a Roughnecks roster which missed the post-season in 2017, Pearson joins one of the premier teams in the league as the Rush won the Champion’s Cup in 2015 and 2016, and lost in the final this past year.

Pearson is six-foot-four and 220 pounds and Saskatchewan head coach and general manager Derek Keenan said he had Pearson ranked second among the draft-eligible left-handed forwards.

“To see him drop down to us, I am very happy about that,” Keenan told the team’s website.

Pearson called it a sense of relief and excitement when he heard his name called, but also said he knows that while grateful for the opportunity, that this was only the first step in the ultimate goal.

He is coming off a stellar four-year career with the Buckeyes, which saw him score 48 goals and 58 points in 44 career games. That includes his senior season when Pearson potted 26 goals in 21 games.

Ohio State also advanced to the NCAA Division 1 championship game, ultimately coming up short in their quest for a title.

Losing the final game of his collegiate career was not easy.

“It was tough. The group that we had and the achievements that we made were unbelievable,” Pearson said.

“So to have one loss completely trump everything that we accomplished … yeah it sucks, but in the overall aspect of where we all came from, was unbelievable.”

Pearson — who left Langley after graduating from R.E. Mountain Secondary in 2013 — said he has nothing but good memories from his time in Columbus, both on the field and in the classroom.

“What the (coaching staff) taught me is something I will take away for the rest of my life,” he said.

Now comes the next phase in his lacrosse journey: trying to crack a Rush roster which has advanced to the past three league finals.

Playing professionally has been the dream for a long time.

“Once you gain consciousness of it and realize a lot of your idols and the players you look up to growing up play in that league, and now having that opportunity and the chance to play in the league is pretty special.”

Thunder drafted

In addition to Martel and Pearson, five other members of the Langley Thunder — Tyler Pace, JP Kealey, Anthony Kalinich, Cole Shafer and Mitch McDole — were drafted by various NLL teams.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health has announced another COVID exposure at Brookswood Secondary. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Two elementaries added to Brookswood in latest Langley schools with COVID exposure

Three school alerts Monday follow on the heels of five issued this past weekend

Fort Langley’s proposed new truck route is outlined in red. It would move most truck traffic around the village of Fort Langley. (Langley Township Engineering/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Fort Langley truck route plans to be decided in 2021

Township council will decide on the project during the budget process next year

(Black Press Media files)
A call for Aldergrove Christmas lights

Send in pictures and addresses so others can see your holiday display

Langley Township and City provide garbage receptacles where people can deposit their bags of dog poop instead of tossing the bags into bushes. (Langley Advance Times)
LETTER: Langley letter writer dumps on irresponsible dog owners

People who don’t clean up their dogs poop or who toss the bags in the bushes irk local resident

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Most Read