NANAIMO — Box lacrosse is underway at the minor level but it doesn't really feel like lacrosse season until the Junior and Senior teams get underway.
The Junior A and Senior B Timbermen both have their home openers on the same day, Saturday May 4.
The WLA Timbermen will start a bit later with an all island matchup in Victoria on May 24.
Labour Day weekend was the last time there was a meaningful box lacrosse game in Nanaimo, and the Senior B's ended up with a President's Cup silver medal.
Senior B president Shawn Swanson says that tournament is still having an impact, especially with a larger base of volunteers.
"All those people who helped out last year, they all want to help out again," said Swanson. "We're in a really good spot right now for volunteers on a game day basis."
There's also been a lot of interest from fans about season tickets and sponsors looking to support lacrosse as well.
Some of the huge names like Jeff Shattler and Cory Conway won't be back again, but the Tmen have confirmed some key veterans will be back for another run at the President's Cup.
Nick Patterson, Corey Shires, Shane Chalker, Myles Kenny, Doug Langlois, and Joe Fendick have committed to the team.
Last week the Tmen acquired goalie Cody Cook from Victoria as well.
It's been several years since the Junior A Timbermen had a playoff team, but there's a lot of optimism for the 2019 BCJALL season.
Last year Nanaimo was a very young team and the Tmen will return a young core that has a lot of potential.
New captain Will Johansen, and scorers like Thomas Vasesen and Ryan Sheridan should make the Timbermen a much more dangerous team on the floor.
Coach Dave Bremner says the experience gained and lessons learned in 2018 will serve the team well moving forward.
"I expect our team to make playoffs this year. That's not outrageous, that's just the way things are this year.
Nanaimo's biggest off season addition is scorer Kyle Dawson from Junior B in Ontario.
The 21-year-old had 53 goals and 34 assists in 19 games for Wallaceburg last year
He's also had success teaming up with Vaesen in tournament play, which helped Dawson and the Timbermen decide to get him out west.
The Junior A and Junior B programs are closely linked with the B Timbermen opening their season this coming weekend.
They’ll play at home Saturday versus New West and on the road Sunday in Langley.
With the full A roster still arriving back from university and other various commitments, some of the Junior B players will have a chance to play up a level for a short time into the season.
There’s still a few weeks left before the WLA Timbermen get going.
Some of the squad has started their preparations already and several key players are still battling in the NLL which wraps up it’s regular season this weekend.
Recently the Timbermen confirmed that their first round draft pick Braylon Lumb will suit up for the team this year.
Lumb was the leading scorer in the BCJALL league last year with 103 points and is still finishing up with his classes in Washington DC.
He’s excited about making the transition to Senior A ball, and he’s really looking forward to starting the season against the Shamrocks in late May.
Lumb spent his entire junior career in Victoria colours and even played in some Senior A games for the Shamrocks as well.
"I've been thinking about this for awhile. I really want to put on a show out there. I want to play really well in front of my 'used to be' home fans and hopefully I can do that," said Lumb.
Lacrosse season is here and Nanaimo's top senior and junior teams all have high expectations in 2019.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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