Playing lacrosse has been a fun learning experience for the fifth-grader at Southside Elementary.
Heintz and the rest of the team have had to learn the purpose of each position as well as the basic fundamentals of the game.
“(I’ve learned) how to scoop the ball, pass the ball and check,” Heintz said.
The latter might be Heintz’s favorite aspect of the game so far.
“The physicality” of lacrosse drew Heintz to the sport, he said, and he enjoys “that it’s rough” on the field.
Checking, as it is in hockey or like tackling in soccer, is a move used to stop opposing players from advancing the ball.
“If they just have the ball, it helps your team out so we can have a chance to get the ball back instead of them just carrying it to the goal and trying to shoot,” Heintz said.
“If they try to shoot and then you check them it helps the goalie so it makes you feel good.”
The hard-hitting of lacrosse mimics that of Heintz’s other sport-of-choice, hockey, which he has played for six years.
“The only difference is it’s on ice and you have more padding,” Heintz said of Canada’s pastime.
Heintz said his hockey background has helped his transition to lacrosse, which shares many of hockey’s basic tenets.
“(Hockey) helps me work on my shooting and passing and hand-eye coordination,” he said.
Playing the midfield requires Heintz to be a two-way player, chipping in on both ends of the field.
“He is a huge offensive and defensive asset as middle and contributes greatly to the success of the team,” said Warriors coach Michael Cannella.
Heintz has yet to score a goal so far in the Warriors’ young season, but he knows the team is still getting used to both the sport and each other as teammates.
“It’s a new team, anyways,” Heintz said.
It’s new now, but Heintz said he wants to continue to play lacrosse in the future. The Warriors play next in Bozeman on May 3.