Kyle McCartney was a high-scoring forward with the Falcons in the north. Drew Dickie was a defender and later a goaltender with the Sidewinders in the south. They competed against each other and sometimes as teammates.
This week, both of them were drafted by the Victoria Sr. Shamrocks of the Western Lacrosse Association, with a chance to again play together if both can make a team that is one step below the National Lacrosse League.
"Kyle and I have been intertwined for a long time, that's for sure," Dickie told the Free Press. "We've been playing against each other back since we were probably 11 years old."
Early on, Dickie was a defender who was always told to go out and cover McCartney. When they both turned 15 -- Dickie by then had switched to goaltender -- both were named to a travelling team, their first experience as teammates.
But they also continued to compete against one another in league play and stayed friendly rivals.
At 17 and by then in junior, Dickie persuaded McCartney to join him on a team in Burlington, Ont., but it turned into a losing season. McCartney returned to Winnipeg, Dickie went to play junior in B.C., where lacrosse is a much bigger sport.
McCartney followed him and ended up playing in Delta, while Dickie played in Nanaimo. Then McCartney was traded to the Victoria Jr. Shamrocks and Dickie was traded to the Calgary Mountaineers.
"Then as fate would have it, (Calgary) was hosting the national championship (Minto Cup) and Kyle's team won B.C., so they got in to the national championship and we played each other in that, which was a very odd experience," Dickie said.
McCartney scored against Calgary but Dickie didn't play in that game. The Shamrocks won the silver medal, the Mountaineers won bronze.
Then, on Tuesday, both having graduated from the junior ranks (17-21), they were both drafted by Victoria's senior squad.
"It's kind of come full circle," Dickie chuckled. "It just looks like we can never stay that far away from each other in the lacrosse world. I just texted Kyle and said it seems we're teammates again. So we've got to go to camp in April and we'll see what happens."
If both make the Shamrocks, they'll be in some pretty heady company. Few Manitobans have played at even that level, with the notable exception of Winnipegger Ryan McNish, who plays for the NLL's Edmonton Rush.
"If we both make the team hopefully we can use it as a springboard to maybe play pro," Dickie said. "That would be getting ahead of myself. But a lot of Canadian guys that play in the National Lacrosse League professionally also play in the summer in the WLA."