A Wildfire player during practice

Starting off on the right foot

With the ice off at the Twin Arenas, lacrosse is back in the box this year.

With the ice off at the Twin Arenas, lacrosse is back in the box this year, with an extra team wedging between the Crossfire and the midget Wildfire.

“We started the Cariboo Central Interior Intermediate League,” President of the Quesnel Lacrosse Association Lisa Scott said.

The new league includes Prince George and Mackenzie, along with Quesnel. Williams Lake, originally part of the league, did not have the runners to set up their own team. So without a team, the dedicated runners from down south will come up to Quesnel to play with the Wildfire, strengthening the Quesnel team.

The team fills the gap between midget and senior that left some players floating free last year.

The new team will have runners from last year’s provincials winning midget Wildfire and some runners who got bumped up to the senior Crossfire.

Pat Gibbs, who coached the Crossfire last year, will coach both the midget and intermediate Wildfire, leaving the Crossfire to new coach Hugh Whalen.

The new Wildfire joined the midgets for their first practice in the Twin Arenas last Wednesday and were joined by some Crossfire players eager to begin.

It wasn’t the first practice of the year, however. The Wildfire jumped back into gear while ice and snow still had a firm grip on the Cariboo.

They took their game to the QYSA indoor soccer fields because the players were too eager to play to wait for the ice to come off.

“There were so many kids texting and calling: ‘Can we do something?’; ‘When can we start?’ So we went into the soccer facilities and it was great.” Scott said.

“It was nice and we’re definitely going to utilize that again.”

It’s this enthusiasm that has kept lacrosse in Quesnel and allowed it to flourish, despite similar-sized towns, like Williams Lake, not having the runners to field a team.

“This is a direct result of our coaches that these kids have had,” Scott said.

“It shows the dedicated coaches these kids have had, who have followed these kids through. And the parents – the parents of these kids are here (watching), and that goes a long way. You can see the dedication of these kids, the parents and the coaches.”

It’s the younger players that are missing in Quesnel, so the B.C. Lacrosse Association will be taking the game to the elementary schools to drum up some more young players by teaching them the history of the game, along with how to play.

The seniors are starting their season officially with a practice Wednesday, after the younger players finish.

They are looking forward to another year of growth and competition.

“We’ll have a full bench again and then we’ll have the intermediate team to fill in those gaps,” Scott said.

New coach Whalen is jumping back into coaching lacrosse after taking a break from the sport a few years back.

After watching the Crossfire for the two years they’ve been back, he is confident the team is moving in the right direction to win..

And with a strong team, he wants to get the word out.

“It’s time people understand: we have a good enough team now that people can come out and enjoy it,” Whalen said.

The Crossfire is full of younger players, which has been difficult the last couple of years as they’ve played against veteran teams that have played together for years.

“A lot of our big players are heading into their twenties while their big players are heading into their forties,” Whalen said.

But what was once a drawback is a positive now as the young Crossfire come into their own, while the veteran teams begin to show their age, Whalen said

That leaves the Crossfire in a great place to start this year, with a full bench of players and the intermediate Wildfire to pull from if they need more players to fill in gaps.

“I think we’re right there – on the cusp of greatness,” Whalen said.

The Crossfire start their season April 24 in Prince George against the Bandits, a team which the Crossfire has a bit of a history with.

All of this was supported by the community at the pub night the association had and Scott is so happy and thankful for the support that has come.

“It was a huge success – a big thank you to everyone who participated or sponsored us,” Scott said.

It was a great way to start the season off.


“The season hasn’t even started and it’s fantastic.”



Just Posted

One of 10 historic Gold Rush Trail signs being presented May 28 in Quesnel

Quesnel Coun. Ron Paull will receive one of the historic signs May 28 at 3 p.m. at the museum

Quesnel’s Carter fights thrice on West Coast Wonder Women card

The 13-year-old fighter won one, lost one and held her own in an exhibition

Quesnel’s SAS launches new Life After 60 program

It will provide seniors the help they need to cover “medical priorities” they otherwise can’t afford

Happy Trails ahead for Quesnel mountain bikers

Construction is underway on five new trails in the Wonderland and Dragon Mountain networks

Quesnel RCMP still looking for witness to wheelchair turnover in West Quesnel

The man whose wheelchair rolled over on him has died

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Tolko announces two-week shutdown at Soda Creek sawmill, beginning May 27

The company says employees were informed of the decision earlier Thursday

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

Most Read