This year’s Nanaimo Timbermen junior A lacrosse team will be defined by its remaining games.
This weekend is huge for the city’s B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League team. With winnable games Saturday (July 2) on the road against the Port Coquitlam Saints and Sunday at home against the Burnaby Lakers, the juniors will either push forward toward the playoffs or find themselves having to scramble.
“It’s crunch time,” said Glenn Foley, team captain. “We have to come out with these [wins]. They’re really important. These could make or break our season.”
The team hasn’t always had positive results on the floor lately, but Foley said the guys are playing hard.
“We’ve got that mentality coming into practices the last couple of weeks – we come out hard every single time,” he said.
The captain didn’t think the T-men would be blown up at the trade deadline (Thursday night after press time), and wondered instead if management might even add a piece or two.
“What we’ve got now, the core of our team, everyone’s playing good lacrosse, everyone’s showing up when they need to, everyone gets along,” he said.
The group is capable of playing with the best teams in the league, but it is also prone to inconsistency.
Ryan Sage, top scorer on the team, said the Timbermen always run fast, but don’t always play smart.
“I think it’s our mental preparation,” he said. “It’s not our fitness, it’s not our skill. It’s putting it together.”
Sage said players realize that every game is a must win, but they have to also realize that within the game, every shift counts.
The Timbermen said in some ways, it’s the most stressful part of the season. In other ways, it’s the best part of the season.
“It’s extra excitement,” Foley said. “Playoffs are around the corner. You want to keep playing further in July and August. That’s our ultimate goal, is just play as far as we can play and play hard the whole time.”
GAME ON … Sunday’s game against the Burnaby Lakers starts at 5 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena … The two teams, both 5-11, are tied for the sixth and final playoff position with five games left in the BCJALL’s regular season.