St. Augustine grad Charlie Kitchen selected in 2nd round of NLL Draft | Atlantic City Sports News

The National Lacrosse League, like most professional leagues recently, held its annual draft Friday virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And even though it was a different experience than being in-person, hearing his name called was still special for Charlie Kitchen.

The New England Black Wolves selected Kitchen in the second round (24th overall) of the 2020 NLL Entry Draft, which was livestreamed on Facebook, YouTube and Bleacher Report Live.

New England general manager Rich Lisk informed him via text moments before the Black Wolves’ time clock expired.

“It was literally one of the most amazing things ever,” said Kitchen, a 2016 St. Augustine Prep graduate who helped the Hermits reach the state Non-Public A semifinals three consecutive seasons (2014, 2015 and 2016).

“I have just been working for this my entire life. Getting a text that said, ‘Welcome to the team,’ is super exciting. My family and friends were freaking out. It was a great day.”

St. Augustine coach J.C. Valore expressed his pride in Kitchen on Saturday.

“Our program’s extremely proud of Charlie,” Valore said. “In a league flooded with Canadian talent (the NLL has a lot of Canadian players who grow up playing box/indoor lacrosse), for Charlie not only to be drafted but be selected second-round, speaks volumes of his skill set and continued work ethic. I’m excited to watch him cap off a record-breaking career at Delaware this spring and also for what lies ahead for him in the NLL.”

Kitchen was watching the draft with friends in his dorm at the University of Delaware. The 22-year-old from Marlton, Burlington County, is a standout attacker for the Blue Hens.

Ninety-three athletes were selected in the six-round, 13-team draft. After he was drafted, Kitchen had a Zoom session with his family.

“It made me more anxious,” said Kitchen, who would have attended the draft in-person, about the virtual experience. “Being there, you just kind of have that release where you see faces, get to shake hands and see that everyone is there, whereas I’m just sitting here watching the TV.

“It was crazy, because you’re just sitting there hoping to hear your name. But they did a great job with it. It was really great for all those players. I’m happy for all of them. I’m happy I have this opportunity, as well.”

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Kitchern lost his senior season at Delaware due to the coronavirus outbreak, but he took the fifth-year eligibility option the NCAA gave all the seniors who lost the opportunity to compete this spring. He is already listed on Delaware’s 2021 roster.

The NLL, which is an indoor lacrosse league, runs its regular season from December to April. And since Kitchen will play for the Blue Hens next spring, he will not compete in the upcoming season in the NLL.

But an extra season in college could be beneficial.

“I’m so excited (for another chance to play for the Blue Hens),” said Kitchen, who led Delaware (10-5) to the Colonial Athletic Association

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Tribute to hope: Atlantic Canada’s first garden for cancer survivors almost finished

The finish line is in sight for a Nova Scotia couple who have spent the last two and a half years working to create Atlantic Canada’s first garden for cancer survivors.

Judie and Jim Edgar are both cancer survivors.

Judie was diagnosed with breast cancer twice, in 2003 and in 2013, and Jim was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2017. Both have recovered.

Judie said the Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors is meant to show people that a cancer diagnosis isn’t necessarily a death sentence.

“When you hear the word ‘cancer’, you think of people who didn’t survive,” she said. “You read it in newspapers, you hear from family and friends. Even the park benches have plaques.

“But there’s so many survivors out there like Jim and I who are surviving and thriving that we just thought it would be a very wonderful message.”

The entry points to the ribbon-shaped paths will have names. (Alex Cooke/CBC)

Jim said the term “survivor” also extends to the friends and family of people who have had cancer.

“They were there to comfort, to talk to, to go to treatments with them. They’re survivors in their own right as well,” he said.

“Although they haven’t experienced cancer firsthand, they’ve experienced it secondhand from the person they’ve been doing the journey with.”

Judie said doctors and health-care workers are included as well, because they’ve worked with people who have both survived and didn’t survive cancer. “It’s got to be tough on them,” she said.

She said she was inspired by similar gardens in Ontario while she was living in Mississauga during her first round with breast cancer.

‘Everybody has their own story’

The garden is in downtown Dartmouth, along the harbour walk near the Alderney ferry terminal, and offers a scenic view of the Halifax harbour.

Judie said she didn’t want it to be near a hospital or treatment centre, since survivors and people with cancer already spend a lot of time at hospitals.

The concrete path winding through the garden is in the shape of a cancer awareness ribbon. At the centre of the ribbon stands a statue depicting a boy, a middle-aged woman and an elderly man, showing that cancer doesn’t discriminate. 

The people in the statue, sculpted by artist Ivan Higgins of Concrete Creations, are from different generations to show that cancer doesn’t discriminate. (Alex Cooke/CBC)

The three figures are all connected in some way: the woman at the centre has her arms around the other two, and the old man and the boy are holding hands.

“One of the things that we’ve found in this journey is that cancer’s become such a connector,” Jim said, explaining why the figures are connected. 

“Everybody has their own story, either personal, or a family member, or whatever.”

The project was supported by all three levels of government, and funding came in the form of a grant from the provincial department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, money from municipal district capital funds, and a grant

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