Sports

Thunder consolidate three levels of lacrosse

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All three levels of lacrosse in Langley — intermediate, junior A and senior A — have consolidated under one management group, the Thunder Lacrosse Club.

The Thunder Lacrosse Club, a not-for-profit society run by president Ken Buchan and vice-president Rob Buchan, received league approval on March 4 from the B.C. Junior Lacrosse League's board of governors.

The move was made to try and create a strong synergy through the different levels of lacrosse as well as the Langley Events Centre.

"It is easier to get sponsorship when you have 30 home dates instead of 10," said Ken Buchan, adding that it was a mutual agreement for the three levels to come under the one umbrella.

The two lower levels will adopt the senior Thunder logo as part of the change.

The Buchan family has owned the senior A Thunder since 1999 and are well entrenched in the sport both locally and through the Lower Mainland.

The team was also one of the first tenants of the Langley Events Centre when it opened in 2009 and their strong relationship with the facility will benefit all three teams.

"Having played in the league when I was in junior and being able to participate at various levels, it is exciting to have a seat at the table and help be a part of really integrating the history of junior lacrosse in the Langley market, hopefully with Langley kids," said Rob Buchan.

He won a Minto Cup — the Canadian junior A championship — with New Westminster in 1994.

The Buchans thanked Joe Willmott, his partners, and Brock Rose — who served as general manager — for bringing intermediate and junior lacrosse to Langley and helping to develop the sport at the amateur level over the past five seasons.

The intermediate level is for players ages 16 and 17 while junior is for those 18 to 21. Senior is for 22 and above.

The Thunder also announced who will oversee the operations of the two teams.

Ken Buchan will serve as president and governor of both the junior and intermediate teams while Rob Buchan will be general manager.

Ryan Williams will be the assistant general manager and director of scouting for both and Nauja Winkler is the assistant general manager for both and the team manager for the junior team.

The junior team's coaching staff will be Shaun Springett as head coach and A.J. Smith as assistant. Gary Porter will be equipment manager, Kevin Mykle will be a director and work on special projects and Jannelle Smithson is the head trainer.

Curtis Guliford will be head coach for the intermediate team and Sean Messenger and Dylan Quinn will serve as his assistants.

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