You can follow the Newmarket Saints Jr B Lacrosse team as it builds on last year's exciting 'bounce-back' season in this first of regular reports contributed by Saints' staff.
While hockey season is winding down, Canada's national summer sport is just getting started. Lacrosse is back and members of the Newmarket Saints Junior B team are hard at work getting ready for the 2019 season.
This year marks the 14th season for the franchise in Newmarket, and the management and coaching staff have put an emphasis on building a team around local players.
“Our goal, since day one, has always been to build a club with some local flavour,” said Saints head coach Dan Ransom Sr., who points to the high number of Newmarket Redbirds Minor players on the squad.
“We always aim to put the best team on the floor, but being able to graduate players from our minor program here in town gives our group a sense of pride when they put on that Saints sweater."
One of those talented homegrown players is Luca Romano, who led the Saints in scoring last year as a rookie. While he’s focused on winning, it’s clear representing the town he grew up in is just as important.
“Being able to put on the Saints’ jersey last season was such an amazing feeling and easily my favourite sports memory,” said Romano. “There is nothing like bringing pride, respect and a winning reputation to your hometown.”
The Saints are looking to build on last year’s bounce-back season. They finished with an 8-12 record and made the playoffs for the first time in three years.
Romano points to tight-knit dressing room as a big reason for the turnaround. His teammates are some of his closest childhood friends, including twin brother Dante. He expects that bond to lead to big things for the team this year.
“The energy around this team, right from our first practice, was different. Guys are excited. We’ve added more skill and depth to our lineup. We have an amazing group of coaches and players, so the opportunity is there.”The Saints kick off their 20-game regular season Friday, playing host to the Orangeville Northmen. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex.
For the Saints’ full 2019 schedule, visit SaintsJrBLacrosse.com