Sports

Lacrosse season isn't over, after all

Nanaimo Acme Timbermen player Steve Higgs, left, fends off a Tri-City Bandits defender during West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association playoff action Sunday at Frank Crane Arena. - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
Nanaimo Acme Timbermen player Steve Higgs, left, fends off a Tri-City Bandits defender during West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association playoff action Sunday at Frank Crane Arena.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

They didn’t win a single playoff game on the lacrosse floor, but somehow, the Nanaimo Acme Timbermen have qualified for the national championships.

The Acme Painting Timbermen will play at the President’s Cup tournament at the end of August in Kahnawake, Que.

The T-men were swept by the Tri-City Bandits in the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association semifinals, but the Bandits and the other league finalists, the Ladner Pioneers, were among several WCSLA teams that declined participation in this year’s nationals.

“Each year all the teams have to declare their President’s Cup eligibility right at the start of the playoffs,” said Shawn Swanson, T-men general manager. “You don’t know what the other teams are doing at that point. And we’re always 100 per cent willing to go.”

Another semifinalist, the Valley Rebels, said they would only go to the President’s Cup if they won the WCSLA championship on merit. Swanson challenged that club to an exhibition series, but the Bandits declined.Basically by default, the T-men are British Columbia’s representatives at senior B lacrosse nationals.

The expenses of a trip to Montreal, plus a week away from work, makes the tourney cost-prohibitive. The Acme Painting Timbermen will have to raise around $35,000 over the next three weeks. They’re planning a beer-and-burger night, a silent auction and other fundraisers, and hope for community and corporate support.

In return, they’ll practise and train and try to get some redemption after a too-brief post-season run.

“The playoffs didn’t end up the way we wanted,” Swanson said. “We sort of get in the back door here and hopefully we can do some damage and bring some hardware home.”

No B.C. team has won the President’s Cup since the Pioneers did it in 2004. The Nanaimo Luckies won the cup in 1969 and 1966.

For information about sponsoring the senior B Timbermen, please e-mail shawn.swanson@shaw.ca or call 250-619-8680.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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