The Kelowna Raiders return to the TOSLL April 26. File photo. Drew Hassard, of the Armstrong Shamrocks, checks Dwayne Briden, of the Kelowna Raiders. The Shamrocks swept the best-of-five Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League Rowcliffe Cup final with an 8-6 win Wednesday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre. (Contributed)

Kelowna Raiders primed for return

The lacrosse team re-joins Thompson Okanagan Senoir Lacrosse League April 26

In short, it was a successful off-season for the Kelowna Raiders lacrosse team.

It was also a long off-season.

The Raiders missed last season after having troubles being able to field a team.

Now, after the year-long break, the Raiders will return to the Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League, and are ready to reinsert themselves as a top competitor in the league.

“We’ve had a good pre-season, we got lots of new and younger guys,” said Raiders general manager Jules Morris.

“We’re going to be competitive, and the guys are really excited.”

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Lacrosse has proved to be a tough sport to keep going in the Okanagan, as the Raiders needed to take last season off from the TOSLL.

Lacrosse players coming out of junior leagues will often move to the coast to get a more expanded lacrosse experience.

Morris said that the recruiting process was tough at first, but now that the team is set, the team and the players are excited to get back into a highly competitive, physical and local league.

“We’re in good shape, and it’s a really good feeling. We nailed down two thirds of the team from recruiting and guys that used to play with us. Our team is set to go.”

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The Raiders start their season April 26 on the road, and play their first home game May 3 at Rutland Arena.

Morris said that they’re hoping to get fans involved, taking a marketing page out of the Kelowna Chief’s playbook to engage the community by offering a fun and local sport experience during the summer.

In the four-team league, Kelowna will redevelop old rivalries with the other teams—Vernon, Armstrong and Kamloops.

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