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Lacrosse squads ready to rock
The Armstrong Shamrocks, senior and junior, and Vernon Junior Tigers are ready to blow the doors off the 2014 lacrosse campaigns.
Both organizations will compete in their respective icebreaker tournaments this weekend in Armstrong.
There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Vernon Tigers as they look to defend their 2013 Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League championship. They will also be hosting provincials this summer on the August long weekend.
“We are extremely excited thinking about provincials. The players, coaching staff, management and parents cannot wait to get the season underway,” said Roxane Seaton, general manager of the Tigers.
The Tigers’ title defence begins this weekend at the ninth annual Archie Jack Memorial Icebreaker tournament on Saturday at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, featuring all five teams in the TOJLL.
“We use the icebreaker tourney as an evaluating tool. It is a great opportunity for new players to check out the system and knock some rust off,” said Myles Brumpton, Tigers’ head coach.
The Tigers first game will go Saturday at 8:30 a.m. against the hosts from Armstrong.
Their opponents, the junior Shamrocks, begin the 2014 campaign with a shortened bench.
The team normally travels with 20 runners and two goalies but while they still have two netminders, they are down to 14 runners. They have a lot of guys working out of town who are unable to make it to all of the games this year.
“Our goal is to have fun this year. Our guys are playing lacrosse because they still love the game. We need to keep it enjoyable for them,” said Brett Logan, head coach of the junior Shamrocks.
The Shamrocks will lean on returning players Cam Nelson and Drew Hassard to guide the way.
“With them being the older guys on the team now, I am looking at them to lead and take some guys underneath their wing,” said Logan.
The Irish finish up their day with a game against the Kelowna Raiders at 3 p.m. The Tigers meet the South Okanagan Flames at 1:30 p.m.
The senior Shamrocks, meanwhile, are preparing for another season of action-packed lacrosse.
“We only have three teams this year, however we are still going to have a lot of great lacrosse being played,” said Chad Pieper, general manager of the senior Shamrocks. “We have been practicing for about a month now, the guys are eager to get out there and let it rip.”
They are set to host the Prince George Bandits and Spruce Grove Tomahawks in the 2014 Owen Siddall Memorial Ice Breaker tournament at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
The Shamrocks have a double-dip tonight, playing the Bandits at 6:30 followed immediately with a match against Spruce Grove at 7:40.
The senior Irish play Saturday at 11:35 a.m., 12:55 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.