The Red Deer TBS Rampage have one of the more experienced teams in the Rocky Mountain Junior B Tier I Lacrosse League.
It’s that experience that head coach Ron Just believes will go a long way in carrying them to the league title.
“We have five guys who are 21, and in their last year with the team, and five others who are 20,” explained Just. “They’re all strong leaders and every one of them are motivated and have high expectations.
“They want to win Alberta and go to the Founder’s Cup national championship in Saskatoon in August.”
But the Rampage have some work to do as a 16-9 loss to the undefeated Mountaineers in Calgary Sunday showed. The Rampage beat the Northern Alberta Crude 20-5 at home Saturday to extend their winning streak to six games.
“The Mountaineers are the other top team in the south, although the Calgary Chill are close,” said Just. “Up north Saskatoon and Sherwood Park are strong and we just got past the Edmonton Warriors.
“But the thing is if we want to go to the nationals it’s important to play all those strong teams.”
Adrian Drechsler, who didn’t play last year, Tyler Gauthier, Trevor Howse, Marshall Just and Patrick Vellner are all in their final season.
Overall the Rampage have only seven new players with Pearce Just moving up from the Junior B Tier II Revenge and Mitch Vellner and Scott Ebbert coming in from the tier II Renegades. Trey Christensen, Tucker Dougherty, Adam Ferguson and Davis Reykdal played midget last year.
“It was a very strong group of midgets this year and that will be the case next year as well,” said Just. “The nice thing is the new guys fit right in. They’re eager and certainly capable and they feed off the older guys.”
Just expects to replace up 10-12 players next season.
“There are guys who graduate, or some guys are working and can’t play and then you lose some to the junior A teams,” he explained.
The Rampage lost Josh Sullivan to the Edmonton Minors this year.
Just is in his first season as head coach of the Rampage after moving up from the Revenge.
“The thing is I know all the guys. I’ve coached just about ever one of them coming up through the system.”
Kyle Carswell and Adam Mooney give the Rampage two solid netminders. Other veterans are Ross Cunningham, Cole deGraaf, Dugan Dougherty, Spencer Einhorn, Curtis Ennis, John Goranson, Connor Hartley, Kevin Langlois, Spencer Lee and Taylor Steele.
Gauthier scored three times against the Mountaineers with Goranson adding a pair of goals and Marshall Just, Mitch Vellner, Langlois and Reykdal one each.
Cunningham had four goals and two assists, Marshall Just three goals and two helpers, Langlois three goals and one assist and Howse two goals and two assists against the Crude. Ebbert had two goals and an assist, Einhorn and Lee a goal and two helpers each, deGraaf a goal and three assists, Pearce Just, Ennis and Gauthier one goal each. Ferguson and Patrick Vellner had three assists each.
The Rampage are in Calgary next weekend facing the Chill Saturday and the Shamrocks Sunday. They return home June 25 against the Silvertips.
l In tier II action, the Sword Transport Revenge lost 11-7 to Okotoks Saturday at home and 8-7 to the Calgary Sabrecats Sunday on the road.
Jordan Hemstad had three goals against Okotoks with Skyler Sargeant adding a pair and Troy Klaus and Kane Weik one each.
Hemstad, Sargeant, Weik, Karsten Banack, Braeden Krips, Jarrik Morissette and Dylan Cole scored once each against the ‘Cats.
Sam Simensen played goal Saturday and Orrin Farries on Sunday.
l The Weatherford Renegades lost 11-8 to Strathmore
Dylan Thudium and Dion Daoust had two goals each with singles added by Justin Moltzahn, Londyn Chu, Ryan Margetts and Dylan Shirreff.
l The Red Deer Western RV bantam A’s beat the Calgary Axemen I 8 – 4 and the Calgary Hornets 13-1 to remain undefeated in the Calgary League.