Youth continue firing up the Flames

Youth serving Flames lacrosse team well despite shortage of players

A 12-6 loss to the Kamloops Venom left the South Okanagan Flames with two wins in five games.

Despite losing by six, Dean Grimm made several sensational saves for the Flames during the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League action at Penticton’s Memorial Arena.

Leading the way offensively for the Flames were Derek Grimm and Jean Luc Chetner with two goals and three points. Ryan Harms added two assists.

Early in the season coach Tony Ramsay is impressed with the play of youngsters Kaid McLeod, Chetner and Josh Greenwood, who as midgets, saw action with the Flames last season.

“They were impact players then, and now with an extra year, they are very much impact players this year,” said Ramsay.

It’s a bright spot considering the Flames roster numbers are down. Ramsay would ideally like to have 18 runners, but at times is forced to work with as few as 13 players.

“Kids that have been out, they have been working their hearts out and we’ve had some success that way,” he said.

Leading up to Wednesday’s game, Ramsay was happy with their record. One thing he noted is that the level of lacrosse in the valley is getting better. He also said that Kamloops, which combined its Rattlers and Venom teams, has some players with junior A experience. It’s a stronger team that at times has up to eight players sitting in the stands.

Ramsay said it’s been hard for them to build because of the smaller numbers they have to draw from. It’s not going to stop him from trying to guide the Flames to a playoff position.

As they strive to make the playoffs, the Flames could suffer another blow to its roster as Chetner has signed with a Coquitlam intermediate team and may leave when the school year is over.

“He has done quite well,” said Ramsay.

The Flames next game is in Armstrong on Friday as they will take on the Shamrocks in the Nor-Val Centre at 7:30 p.m. The Shamrocks will then travel to Penticton to finish off the home-and-home series. That game starts at 3 p.m. at Memorial Arena.