by Victoria Shamrocks
March 17, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – The Victoria Shamrocks are pleased to announce their first player signings of 2014, welcoming back 4 high-profile players from the 2013 Western Lacrosse Association championship roster.
First wave of retuning players to the ‘Rocks in 2014 roster are local a group of local snipers and veterans – Rhys Duch, Scott Ranger, Karsen Leung, and Corey Small. The Shamrocks expect several more announcements over the coming weeks as some player contracts have to complete the transfer process.
“This group of four players has demonstrated outstanding commitment to our club and is a key component of our foundation going forward,” said Chris Welch, GM, the man on the front line of player acquisition. “While we know there will be some changes to our group this year, we’re 100% committed to building off of our accomplishments from last year”.
“It’s shaping up to be another exciting roster,” Coach Bob Heyes added, “We have good core of local veterans we are building our offense around with guys like Duch & Small and our 2014 Draft class supports that in spades.”
These signings come on the heels of an exceptional draft for the Shamrocks from which fans can expect local blue chip prospects like Jesse King (team Canada hopeful) and Chris Wardle (currently with Vancouver Stealth of the NLL) to have an impact on the roster.
Welch hinted the recent signings are just the beginning, as the ‘Rocks look to take care of ‘unfinished business,’ falling just short in last year’s Mann Cup Championship. Training camp opens on April 28th where Coach Bob Heyes likes what he sees so far. “We won’t know our final look until training camp, but we have a strong locker room of dedicated players who are serious about bringing a championship to the city.”
Rhys Duch, a 6′ 0″ right-handed attacker from Victoria made his first appearance with the Shamrocks in 2006 as a call-up from the Junior Shamrocks, and stayed with the senior team until 2012, when he made a brief detour to Ontario. Returning home in 2013, Duch was a key component of the Shamrocks offense during their playoff campaign, with 17 goals and 25 assists in just 15 post-season games.
Scott Ranger, a 5′ 10″ right-handed attacker from Nanaimo came to Victoria in 2013 in exchange for a pair of junior attackers and a pair of first-round draft picks – a fair trade as far as the Shamrocks are concerned. The two-time WLA league scoring leader (2011, 2012) and 2011 league MVP had a strong year in 2013, scoring 48 goals and 39 assists between the 30 regular season and playoff games.
Karsen Leung, a 6′ 0″ right-handed transition player from Victoria an impression to be drafted first in the second round at the NLL this year. A long-time Victoria player, Leung put up impressive offense numbers in Junior A before joining the WLA as a transition player in 2009, with a one-year stint in Nanaimo in 2010 before returning home for good.
Corey Small, a 5′ 9″ left-handed attacker originally from St. Catharine’s, ON, but now living and working in Victoria, joined the Shamrocks in 2011 and quickly established himself in the west, being in the top 10 in scoring in each of his three years in the WLA. His 2013 season was cut short by injury during the playoffs, but not before putting up impressive and intimidating numbers that led to his second consecutive nomination to the league 1st All-Star Team.
The 2014 regular season begins on the road on May 20th against the Nanaimo Timbermen, before both teams drive south for a rematch as the Shamrocks 2014 Home Opener on May 23rd at 7:45pm. This year’s home opener will be a one-of-a-kind Family Tailgate Party and Beer Garden to celebrate their 65th Season. Season Tickets are on sale now and are available by calling the Shamrocks front office at 250-478-ROCK.