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Kings set to open season
Posted: May 8th, 2013 @ 7:11pm
Kingston Kings will open their 2013 Ontario Junior C Lacrosse League season Thursday night at Centre 70. The Gloucester Griffins will visit for a game that will start at 8 p.m.
The Kings and Griffins are familiar opponents. The teams met six times last year, with Kingston winning four times, and they faced each other twice in preseason play this year, each team winning by two goals in the other team's building. Since Gloucester joined the junior C league in 2011, Kingston is 7-2 against the Griffins in regular-season play.
The Kings begin the new season with a new coaching staff, comprising Mike Dube, an accomplished player who is the all-time leading junior B scorer at Halton Hills and who was named Canadian university field lacrosse player of the year at Bishop's in 2011. He coached a Quebec junior B championship team in Sherbrooke and coached the Quebec all-star team at the Founder's Cup national junior B championship in 2010. He's joined by Andrew MacKay, a former assistant with the two-time East division champion Cornwall Celtics, and Andy Wilson, a former team captain who was a member of Kingston's 1973 Ontario championship team.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of that Tier II junior C title, and to mark the occasion players this year will be wearing a commemorative patch on their jerseys.
Meanwhile, the Kings have signed five more players for the coming season, all members of the Kingston Krossfire team that won the 2012 Ontario midget D championship.
One of them is no stranger to the Kings. Zach Masterson played 14 games with the junior club last year as an affiliated player, scoring 10 goals and collecting 22 points. He also had a goal and an assist in one game he played with the junior B Nepean Knights.
"He has great hands and a great inside game," Dube said. "We're going to utilize that and also will get him to work on his outside game, to make him even more effective."
Aidan Plouffe, Bryce Drew (currently out with a shoulder injury), Michael Latour and Nick Silva have also signed their cards for the coming campaign. Drew scored twice in seven games with the Kings in 2012, bagging his first goal in his first junior game. Plouffe has played 15 games over the past two seasons as a callup.
"Aidan's a young kid with good size," Dube said. "We'll be using him both offensively and defensively. He's a pretty talented kid and hopefully we can get a lot out of him.
"Bryce is a pretty athletic kid. We're going to use his youth and energy to contribute on both sides of the ball."
Latour, entering his first junior season, is a "super, super skilled guy," Dube said. "We're going to try and give him the ball a lot and get him some good shots. If he comes with the attitude that he wants to work hard every night, he'll be a really successful player in this league."
Silva served the Kings last year as their apprentice trainer. "Nick is a guy who stuck around in camp, worked his tail off every single practice, and showed the coaches he really wants to be here," Dube said, "so we're going to give him the opportunity. We're looking at him to grab loose balls and move the ball up the floor from the (defensive) end."
The Kings will get a substantial boost Thursday with the return of Kyle Aylesworth. Aylesworth, beginning his fourth and final junior season, is scheduled to return today from Vienna, W. Va., where he was studying sports management and playing field lacrosse at Ohio Valley University.
The active career leader in goals (47), assists (37) and points (84, tied for 11th all-time) with the Kingston junior club, Aylesworth was twice freshman of the week in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, and he was named to the ECAC Division II all-rookie team. With the Fighting Scots, Aylesworth led his team with 54 points, was second in the conference with 46 goals, and in one eight-day stretch in early April, he had games of seven, six and eight goals.
Thursday's stretch begins a hectic week of activity for the Kings, who will play in Peterborough Friday night and at Clarington next Wednesday, before returning home for a game with Whitby Thursday, May 16.
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