Senior lacrosse is returning to Port Coquitlam.
The Coquitlam Adanacs senior 'B' team that plays in the West Coast Senior B Lacrosse League is relocating to the new Port Coquitlam Community Centre.
In fact, it’s a sort of homecoming for the organization that used to be known as the Tri-Cities Bandits before it departed the old PoCo Rec Centre in 2014 and became the Adanacs.
Randy Clough, president of the team that will be called the PoCo Saints like its cousins in the BC Junior A Lacrosse League (BCJALL), said the new facility was a strong allure.
“The new arena, a new floor, it just made sense,” Clough told the Tri-City News, adding there was also challenges securing prime arena times at the busy Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.
The Saints will play its home games on Monday nights and be coached by retired Port Coquitlam fire chief Nick Delmonico.
Clough said the senior Saints fill an important gap in the city’s lacrosse scene by providing hometown players a competitive option to continue their careers if they don’t get picked up by the Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) or can’t find a way to fit that league’s demands around their own commitments to work, family or school.
“We have a lot of talented players that don’t have time to play in the WLA,” Clough said. “It ends up being a lot of really good competition at that level.”
Clough said he’s optimistic the senior Saints will emerge stronger from the shadows cast by the strong Jr. Adanacs program in Coquitlam as well as the well-established WLA Adanacs. Two seasons of virtually no competitive lacrosse because of COVID-19 public health restrictions have also created pent-up demand.
“There will be a lot of opportunity to play.”
Josh Wahl, president of the junior Saints, said the new companion franchise will be a good fit, drawing players to Port Coquitlam from all over the Lower Mainland including prospects aspiring to catch the attention of higher leagues.
The season’s 18-game schedule traditionally begins in April.
Junior 'B' Championships also coming to PoCo
Clough hasn’t just got his eye set on advancing senior lacrosse in the city.
He’s also chairing the organizing committee that’s resurrecting the Western Canadian Jr. 'B' Championship to be played at the PCCC Aug. 22–28.
The championship hasn’t been officially contested since 1995, when it was won by the Richmond Roadrunners.
Clough said the event will bring together top Tier 2 Jr. 'B' teams that aren’t able to compete for the Founders Cup that’s awarded to Canada’s Tier 1 Jr. 'B' champion.
The eight qualifiers will be from the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Interior, Northern and Southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as the host team.
“It’s a great way for the kids just starting out in junior to have something significant to play for,” Clough said. “Everybody wants to play against the top level of their peer group. Competition is always the reward.”