Preds captain Ikert hoping to build off successful campaign at Mount Olive

Photo by Mike Horn. Davin Ikert carries the ball while fending off a Swift Current defender during PGLL action at Kinsmen Arena.

It’s been a successful calendar year of lacrosse for Davin Ikert.

Ikert, who serves as the captain of the Prince Albert Predators, is looking for his third championship in the last 12 months.

In April, Ikert helped lead the University of Mount Olive Spartans to a Conference Carolinas championship, the first ever conference title in program history. The Spartans defeated Belmont Abbey College Crusaders 12-11 in the championship game.

The University of Mount Olive is an NCAA Division II program located in Mount Olive, North Carolina. Mount Olive is located approximately 100 kilometres outside of Raleigh.

“It’s something really special.” Ikert says. “That was our first in program history, so not many of our guys have done it, so a huge shout out to the guys who built up the program. That’s just dedication throughout the year, and it’s something you’ll never forget.”

Predators head coach Lucas Wells says having a player like Ikert find success playing lacrosse at the NCAA level is very important for the sport in Prince Albert.

“I think it’s huge. A lot of people don’t realize the places you can go playing lacrosse, and I think that having a guy, a local kid, win a conference championship, then come back home and win a championship last year is huge. Kids look up to him, everyone sees him around the rink, everybody knows who it is. It’s amazing for lacrosse.”

In 38 career games at Mount Olive, Ikert has recorded only a single goal. In 22 games as a Predator, Ikert has registered eight goals and 19 assists.

While Ikert may not post the flashy point totals like some of his teammates do, he says he takes pride in helping keep the other team off the scoreboard.

“Especially on defense, (the key is) just communication and making sure we can shut them down. Defense wins championships at the end of the game and then just bringing back experiences and knowledge that got passed down onto the younger guys to help build the program.”

Ikert has been a key fixture in the leadership group for the Predators for the last three years. He is in his third season wearing the “C” for Prince Albert, leading the team to the PGLL final in 2022 and a thrilling come-from-behind win over Swift Current in 2023. Wells says his leadership qualities as the Predators captain are invaluable to the coaching staff.

“His leadership is unquestioned. His first practice back, the intensity of the practice just ramped right up. As coaches, we might say something and they might not pick it up and as soon as he says (something), it’s like ‘oh shoot, I understand now’. A coach can only preach so much. He brings the attitude, he wants to win, he wants to be here which is the most important thing.”

Having won a championship with both lacrosse teams he plays for, Ikert says it has special meaning for him to be able to have success and help the sport of lacrosse in both places.

“It means everything to me, a good group of guys on both (teams) and it just helps build the community and enhance the program further.”

The Predators return to action on Friday night when they host the Saskatoon SWAT in a Founders’ Cup play-in game at the Kinsmen Arena. Ball drop is at 8 p.m.