Cranbrook’s lacrosse Outlaws hoisted a championship trophy in Alberta this weekend past, in their first full season since 2019.
The Cranbrook Junior B2 Outlaws secured the South Division Championship and the coveted Provincial Gold Championship over the August 5 weekend in Sylvan Lake, Alberta.
The Outlaws compete in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League which has teams from BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The Outlaws defeated the Strathmore Venom on Friday night to capture the South Division crown with Fletcher Backshell-Jones receiving the award for the leagues leading scorer. The top three scorers were all Outlaws, with Wyatt Fancy and Kasey Miller finishing second and third respectively.
On Saturday the Outlaws played the Lloydminster Xtreme and, after a tie in regulation, lost in overtime 8-5 — the team’s first loss of the season.
The Outlaws rebounded against the host Sylvan Lake Yetti later on Saturday with a 13-7 victory securing a rematch with the Xtreme for the Provincial Title.
The Outlaws made no mistake the second time and defeated the Xtreme 11-5 with ease, with Fletcher Backshell-Jones scoring six goals and adding two assists and Kasey Miller adding seven points.
“The team was focused on the ultimate prize, a championship,” said Reeve Toth, the Outlaws only 21-year-old player and the captain of the squad. “Although a perfect season would have been a feather in our cap, the hoisting of the championship trophy was worth the sacrifice. We have a tight locker room of great players that committed to each other.
“The fan support for our home games was amazing, we had over 400 people at (Cranbrook’s) Memorial Arena for some games. When you added the beer garden and youth involvement it made the season that much more special.”
The Outlaws won the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League Tier 3 title in 2019, the last full season for the team until this year. They now have added the Tier 2 title after requesting and being allowed to move up to a higher level.
The Outlaws have already expressed their wishes to move to Tier 1 for the 2023 season after losing only one player to aging out.
“I have coached many of these players for some time,” said Head Coach Russ Sheppard. “To see their excitement and emotion for their hard work was a special moment. They should be proud — they not only won, they did it with class and in as dominant a fashion as I have seen in my over 20 years coaching.
“I am excited for the future of lacrosse in Cranbrook. These players have started something special for years to come.”
The Outlaws would like to thank their sponsors and parent group for working hard to make the season such a success. We also want to thank the staff at the Memorial arena and the City of Cranbrook for their hard work.