The pieces of the puzzle fit just right as the Okanagan Wild lacrosse team were put together.
Dan Chetner, coach of the Wild, is confident they identified the right group of players for their inaugural season in the B.C. Intermediate A Lacrosse League.
“I would say the lacrosse skill and the talent we have been able to put together is refreshing,” said Chetner. “I don’t think that will be a large source of concern for us as we progress through the season. I think our talent level is good.”
Chetner and general manager Martin Gardner assessed more than 40 players in the region for the 25-player roster. The Wild have eight players from Penticton — Brendan Craig, Beau Chetner, Connor Ramage, Freddy Harbinson, Kale Lawrence, Liam McLaren, Ben Olsen and Nash Moog; eight from Kamloops — Tom Girard, Adam Gardner, Jake Coles, Mason Suppanz, Nathan Fraser, Chace Jones, John Black and Erik Bunce, four from Kelowna — Sam Adams, Zane Torres, Matt Alcorn and Josh Dubrett, two from Merritt — Frederick Ware and Anthony Tulliani, Drew Bannister from Shuswap, Jordan Scherck from Armstrong and Jordon Bunce from Williams Lake.
Chetner felt the camp held in Armstrong went pretty well and said the participation and excitement was positive. While the Wild possess talent, Chetner described the team as a young, inexperienced group that is unfamiliar with each other. Chetner believes the Wild are a deep team that can play a speed game, while scoring goals and be strong defensively. They also possess tough players so Chetner knows they can play whatever style is necessary.
“It’s just figuring out what is necessary.”
The excitement level within the franchise is high. It is also receiving fantastic support, said Chetner, from around the valley. They have businesses stepping up and providing sponsorship. There are several people stepping up to fill roles to support the team and help the success.
The Wild will play six home games with two in Kamloops and one each in Merritt, Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon.
The Wild opens the season April 7 at Minoru Arena in Richmond, then head to Coquitlam to play in the Coquitlam Rec Centre. They play Coqutilam a second time on April 2.