Red Deer Rampage set to open Junior B Tier I lacrosse season

The Red Deer Rampage are heading into the 2019 Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League Junior B Tier I season with their usual lofty expectations.

They’ve been the RMLL silver medalists the last two seasons and also captured a Founders Cup national junior B silver medal in 2017. In the 2018 regular season, Red Deer had an 18-2 record.

Despite losing seven regulars from last year’s lineup, including leading scorer Dawson Reykdal who notched 73 goals in 25 games last year, the Rampage are confident.

“Expectations for us are the same every year. We want to go to the Founders and we want to win the province. Every year is a grind, every year is a different year but we do have a very high-quality program so we expect to be right there in the thick of it every single year,” said Rampage head coach Trey Christensen.

“We did lose a lot of players, it’s just going to be a changing year that way. Same as it was a couple of years ago. Different bodies in and different leaders. Same challenge every year. The talent is all there, the leadership is all there. Just a matter of it all coming together and finding a level of consistency.”

They are still returning 11 players from last year and hope rookies Nate Hasna, Tyan Hasna, Konnor Green, Keifer Christensen and Riley King can fill the void of talent they’ve lost.

Elijah Johanson and Sheridan Cook who combined scored 74 goals for Red Deer last season, will also suit up once again this summer. Twenty-year-olds Teren Christensen, Jeremy Klessens and James Wood back return as well.

“We have a lot of talented guys that are now stepping into more leadership roles. For them, it’s not just about doing your job, it’s also about setting a good example for others and those around you,” Christensen said.

“It’s always the team that grits and grinds and works the hardest with that team concept that does the best.”

Red Deer will open the season on April 26 at home against the Olds Mavericks. Faceoff is set for 9 p.m. at the Kinex. Saturday, the Rampage will host the St. Albert Crude at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, the Red Deer Renegades Junior B Tier II squad will also start the season. They will open the season against the Medicine Hat Sun Devils at 2:30 p.m.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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