Last season, the Estevan Big Dogs didn’t get their first (and only) win until their second-last game of the year.
They got that out of the way right off the bat this time around.
The Big Dogs we saw on Saturday at the Lignite Miners Centre looked much more polished and refined in their offensive attack than they were last year.
Lacrosse is still a niche sport and as such, it’s key to have returning veterans to provide some continuity from year to year.
Having players like Ryan Curzon, Ty Currie, Dylan Smith, Kelsy Omland, Mark Moriarty, Marshall Holzer, Wayde Curzon, Tanner Froese and Rhett Handley back with the team means you have about half your team already versed in the team’s game plan.
It means less time spent repeating drills and more time shaping the offence into a well-oiled team.
The Big Dogs certainly looked like they knew what they were doing on Saturday, at times dominating a Yorkton team that got lucky with a few missed chances and posts on the home side’s part.
Now that some chemistry has developed and many players have some experience with the sport, the Big Dogs should experience more success than they did last year.
That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a long way to go, and it doesn’t mean they’ll be competing for first place, but they should at least be competitive, unlike last year’s 1-8-1 team.
And although the cramped quarters at the LMC don’t help matters, it’s much easier for a community to embrace a winning team when the sport is unfamiliar to many fans.
A successful Big Dogs team would also encourage more younger kids to give the sport a try at the lower levels and could go a long way toward helping Estevan Minor Box Lacrosse create a sustainable feeder system. It’s a win-win.
Josh Lewis can be reached by phone at 634-2654, by e-mail at estevanmercury.ca, on Twitter at twitter.com/joshlewis306 or on his Bruins Banter blog at estevanmercury.ca/bruinsbanter. In the meantime, he implores you to check out the new web series called “10 Questions with Parksie” at estevanmercury.ca. Just do it.