It shouldn’t be hard for eight members of the Okanagan Wild to be jacked up for their next game June 24.
That day marks the first and only game the Penticton products will play at Memorial Arena, when they take on the New Westminster Salmonbellies (seven wins, six losses) in B.C. Intermediate Lacrosse League play at 4 p.m.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for them to play the game that they love and have passion for and have friends and family in the stands, who might not be able to attend games that aren’t in Penticton,” said Wild coach Dan Chetner, who has coached in the Penticton Minor Lacrosse Association. “Definitely when you’re in your home community there is a little extra interest. Definitely a little extra focus on the home game.”
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Also looking forward to the matchup is Penticton’s Cairo Rogers, who will play against his friends. He took advantage of an offer to join New Westminster, who has players he knows from when he played for Team B.C. Rogers said he is feeling nervous.
“I think it will be fun and it will be good to play against those guys,” said Rogers. “It’s just another game. I’m excited more than anything.”
Rogers said there has been chatter about the Wild among he and his friends.
“We have been talking about it for a while,” said Rogers, who has a goal and five points in 10 games. “It’s going to be a good game. It’s going to be interesting. I don’t think there is really any bad blood. It’s our first game this year against each other.”
Rogers has enjoyed playing in the B.C. ILL, which he said is a fast paced league.
“Everyone is looking to go to the next level. It’s a good league,” said Rogers. “It’s super competitive.”
Heading into the weekend the Wild are two points out of a playoff spot with four wins and 11 losses. Last weekend the Wild settled for a split against Burnaby. The Wild thumped the Lakers 18-8 in the first game. Olsen led with five goals and nine points, while Chetner, Craig, McLaren and Moog each netted two goals and Lawrence had one. In the second game, the Lakers returned the favour in a 19-3 win. Chetner described it as night and day.
“It was like a completely different group of individuals,” he said. “Nobody showed up. There was no intensity. They didn’t win any battles.”