Friday, 09 February 2018 06:14

Swift Current Lacrosse joining new league for 2018 season

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Swift Current Rampage lacrosse teams will start the 2018 season in a new league that has been created in southern Saskatchewan to grow the game in the province.


“We’re really excited about the opportunity this year and we can’t wait to get going,” said Swift Current Lacrosse Association President Trenton Froese, who is the vice-president of the new South Sask Lacrosse League.
The Saskatchewan Lacrosse Association announced the formation of the new multi-association minor lacrosse league in January.
The South Sask Lacrosse League brings together players from Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Regina, Estevan and Weyburn for the inaugural 2018 season, which will include Novice, Peewee, Bantam and Midget divisions.
The creation of the new league is a significant benefit for the Swift Current players, because in the last few years they have been playing in an interprovincial league in Alberta.
“For our association obviously this means that we will be playing against teams within our own province, whereas in past years we’ve been playing in the Southern Alberta Lacrosse Association,” Froese said. “So it should reduce travel a little bit, it should make the teams a little bit more localized and still provide us with a good quality level of competition and some high quality games that we get to play in. It should also make it easier for any of the local kids that are interested in playing on some of the provincial or club teams that they have here in the province as well, because schedules should fit a little more smoothly than when they try to coordinate schedules with another province.”
The details of the new league must still be finalized, including the game schedules, but the Swift Current teams will most likely play a similar number of games during the 2018 season compared to previous seasons in the interprovincial league.
“One of the things that we’re trying to be very cognizant of is making sure that the transition is as smooth as possible,” he said. “Obviously anytime you set up a new league there’s going to be a couple of bumps along the way, but we want to make sure that with the associations that have joined the league, and for Swift Current in particular, that it doesn’t stray too far from what we’ve been used to in past years. We normally had between a 10 and 12 game regular season and I suspect we’ll have something very similar to that again this year.”
The creation of the new league became a possibility due to the growth of the game in the province. More players were joining the different associations, and all the associations came on board to establish the new league.
“Weyburn and Estevan, as an example, were previously playing together as one association,”  he noted. “They’ve now grown to the point where they’re able to separate into two associations. Moose Jaw has been around for a long time. It has had a strong program for many years, but really even if each of those associations had one or two teams in every age group, that still only provides you with three or four teams to try and set up a league with. So it was pretty critical for us to get Regina on board.”
The new association became feasible as a result of an arrangement for interlocking play with Queen City Minor Box Lacrosse leagues.
“That probably doubles the size of the league to be able to get good quality competition against the various group of teams,” he said.
The new league will also create opportunities for lacrosse programs to develop in other communities in the southern part of the province.
“One of the big motivations behind it was to be able to promote the game within the entire southern region of the province so that other associations that are maybe a little smaller or haven’t had the opportunity to start up yet now would be able to jump into the league and get quality competition,” he said.
There has been a significant growth in the game in the Swift Current area over the past six years.
“I wasn’t around when we originally joined the southern Alberta league, but my understanding is that at that point in time we were one of the smaller associations with only a couple of teams, and now we’re definitely amongst the larger associations,” he said. “We often have two teams in every age group, and we’re averaging somewhere around 150 kids registered per year in the sport.”
There are quite a few players from Gull Lake and some players come from other communities in the southwest, such as Ponteix and Shaunavon. The new season will probably start in the second or third week of April, but the schedule must still be finalized.
The Swift Current Lacrosse Association's goal is to have teams competing in all age groups in the new season, ranging from four and five-year-old players at the Mini Tyke level to the Midget age group.
I strongly suspect we will have two teams in most age divisions,” he said. “There may be, depending on the year and registrations, one age group where we only have one team, but I would consider it extremely unlikely that there will be an age group that we do not have a team in.”
The Swift Current Lacrosse Association already started registration for the 2018 season. There will be a saving of $50 on registration fees for Novice, Peewee, Bantam and Midget players if they register before Feb. 14. Registration will be accepted until March 30. For more information, visit the association's website at www.swiftlacrosse.ca

Read 435 times
Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

More Swift Current News...