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Senior B lacrosse in Ennismore begins in April

by Ben Clarke

A new era of lacrosse is coming to Ennismore.

The James Gang senior B men’s squad has officially announced its intentions to play out of Ennismore during the 2014 Ontario Lacrosse Association season.

What began in Ennismore has returned to the community as the team announced major moving plans last week to relocate to the Robert E. Young Recreational Complex.

The James Gang, which had played out of Norwood since 2007, is relocating to its original site to begin its 12th season as a franchise.

The announcement was made at the renovated Ennismore arena with head coach/president Jim Johnston, assistants John Martin, Dalt Downer, trainer Ron Morley and business manager Doug Cordery among those in attendance.

The franchise began in 2002, was moved to Lakefield for two seasons starting in 2006 before heading to the Asphodel-Norwood Community Centre.

Team officials made it clear that the move had nothing to do with any problems in Norwood. It was just a better travel situation for all parties.

“Because of Ennismore’s location, it is a lot closer to the homes of many of our players, coaches and executive,” said Cordery.

“The community is very active with the youth in this area and we plan on growing the game by offering lacrosse clinics and assisting in the formation of teams and leagues.”

Cordery also spoke of the recent renovations to the Ennismore arena, including a larger lobby, new washrooms, a sound system, larger concessions, humidity control and six new dressings room with wider corridors, among other improvements.

“Teams and fans alike will be pleased to visit us in these new facilities,” Cordery said.

Returning to Ennismore means a little extra to head coach Johnston, who played Junior B there back in the 1970s.

“I have a connection to this community and it made me the person I am today,” he said.

“I have a history here and it felt like the right move. It is better for travel and it will help us grow the game for the kids and keep them in it. Many play in the house league and go to Lakers games because it is closer.”

The 2014 season will kick-off in April and will feature seven teams in two divisions again next year.

The 16-game schedule will see the James Gang battle Owen Sound and Brooklin four times each and St. Catharines, Sarnia, Six Nations and Oakville in a home-and-home series.

The James Gang lost to Six Nations in the semifinals last year but Johnston expects a number of players to return in 2014.

The club is also seeking a major sponsor and has expressed interest in returning as a Peterborough Lakers affiliate.

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