'We'll have some fun this year': Rebranded Kings squad ready for 2022 RMLL season
After the last two seasons of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League were disrupted by the pandemic, junior lacrosse is back in the Queen City.
Formerly the Regina Barracudas, the Queen City Kings hope a rebrand and a young team will bring in a fresh mindset going into the new season.
“We’re trying to instil a new locker room culture and competitiveness to the program,” said Head Coach Alex Kratz. “But at the end of the day, if the boys enjoy the season, we’re competitive and win some games, we’ll have some fun this year.”
The 2020 season was fully cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last season, the junior lacrosse team only played six games, all of them against their provincial rivals, the Saskatoon S.W.A.T. winning four of them.
This season, players are looking forward to returning a regular season schedule that has them face teams from Winnipeg to Calgary to Edmonton.
“[Last year] was repetitive,” said returning offensive runner Ben Swallow. “We wanted to hit new bodies. But it’s also so great to get back on the road with the team. We’ve definitely missed a lot of that.”
“Getting to travel to Manitoba or Calgary and face more than one team makes the experience that much better,” said Kratz.
Coach Kratz says the team expectations are high for the inexperienced squad but knows getting players back in the game is more important.
“We have a lot of guys new to the league,” he said. “But we also have a fast, athletic team. I’m hoping we’re competitive and be in the playoffs this year.”
Team owner Jason Achtemichuk has some bigger goals for the team this season.
“We have a good team this year,” he said. “I’m hoping to win the east division, honestly.”
However, the season opener for the Kings did not go as planned, losing to the visiting Calgary Shamrocks 15-3.
The team streams its games on YouTube and the full schedule can be found on their website and social media accounts. The Kings encourage all interested in lacrosse to attend their home games.