A new lacrosse franchise plans to make a home in the West Kootenay next spring. Photo submitted

Lacrosse league coming to West Kootenay

The team is recruiting players with the hope of playing next spring

The West Kootenay Junior Lacrosse club has preliminary approval for a new franchise to play in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League beginning next spring.

This box lacrosse team is an opportunity for athletes born between 1997 and 2001 to continue to play Canada’s national game beyond their minor lacrosse years.

“This team has been a work in progress for a few years and we are thrilled to see it happen in 2018,” said Luana Martin from the West Kootenay Junior Lacrosse planning team. “The West Kootenay area has a long tradition of sports participation. This team offers one more spring and summer sport option for youth to maintain an active lifestyle.”

The team is expected to play eight home games and eight away games, with the West Kootenay home arena to be confirmed. The 2018 season will run April 20 to July 8, with provincials in mid-July.

“I am excited to be able to continue to play locally and look forward to bringing great entertainment to our community,” said Brian Martin, 2017 midget graduate and minor lacrosse coach.

Player recruitment is underway: the club must demonstrate sufficient player interest by Dec. 31, 2017 to obtain final league approval. The team will be comprised of graduating players from the minor program, and athletes new to the game who bring skills from other sports. Male and female athletes born between 1997 and 2001 are eligible to play in 2018 and encouraged to apply.

“I love the sport and travelled to the Okanagan to play with the Rutland Raiders when I moved to the area in 2001,” said Peter Youngblut, skills development and assistant coach, and Peterborough Lakers Alumni. “Athletes from other team sports such as basketball, soccer and hockey and field hockey will quickly learn the specifics of lacrosse. We want to reach out to all interested athletes before year-end.”

Club management volunteers, assistant coaches, and skills development coaches are in place.

The club is looking for a goaltender, a head coach and individuals interested in reffing games in the West Kootenays. Team and game sponsorship opportunities are available.

Interested players, volunteers and sponsors can contact the club at wkjrlax@gmail.com.

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