The defending-champion Kamloops Rattlers senior lacrosse team opens its Okanagan Extreme Lacrosse League season on Friday against the visiting Kelowna Raiders.
Game time at Memorial Arena is 8 p.m.
The Rattlers go into the regular season off a 1-2 appearance at an icebreaker tournament. They opened Friday with a 6-4 victory over Maple Ridge.
On Saturday, Kamloops was edged 13-12 by Kelowna. While the Raiders had a full bench of 18 runners for that game, the Rattlers had only 13 and were missing a few key players.
Later Saturday, Spruce Grove, Alta., beat the Rattlers, 11-2. The Rattlers trailed 4-2 to start the second period when a Spruce Grove player suffered a leg injury and had to be removed by ambulance. As a result of the 30-minute delay, the teams went directly to the third period.
The Rattlers have lost eight players from last season's roster, but have added four junior graduates and also have picked up a handful of players who have been away from the game for a while.
Their roster features goaltenders Stu Ford and Mike Smith, along with players Matt Vezina, Justin Fournier, Jeff Dairon, Jason Glover, Brett Baker, Jesse Wessel, Nathan Woldum, Devon Larsen, Jordan Henry, Chris Phillips, Nathan Akins, Ryan Kurzac, Mark Jurista, Liam Hagerty, Kevin Pakkala, AJ Lockwood, Ryland DeRose, Lee Black, Tyler Knox, Scott Martin, Rob Smith, JJ Woldum and Ryan Hildebrand.
The head coach is John Aldred, with Rick Baker as assistant coach, Brian Turner as trainer and Wyatt Henry as ball boy.
Season tickets will be available at the door, for $20. Game admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 8-12. A minor lacrosse player wearing a jersey and accompanied by an adult gets in for free.
© Kamloops Daily News