(Photo - Kelowna Senior Raiders Lacrosse Club)

(Photo - Kelowna Senior Raiders Lacrosse Club)

52 points in five games for Kelowna Raider lacrosse player

The Raiders are 5-0, outscoring their opponents 76-27.

In the first season since 2019, the Kelowna Raiders are back in a big way thanks to their leading scorer Andrew Garant.

The Raiders are the only undefeated team in the Thompson-Okanagan Senior C Lacrosse League, sitting at 5-0. And they haven’t just been winning, they have been dominating, outscoring their opponents 76-27.

“We have a good core group,” said Garant. “We have everyone committed and we have a lot of experienced lacrosse players that played at high levels and that definitely helps. Guys were missing the game and I think we feel like we’re more hungrier than other teams.”

Despite the pandemic delaying play for a couple of seasons, the majority of the team from 2019 is back on the 2022 roster.

Garant has been playing lacrosse since he was three years old and he couldn’t be more excited to be playing the game again after the two-year layoff.

“It’s been honestly so much fun,” said Garant. “With COVID, we had to take two years off and I’ve never had that in my life. It was definitely really weird to not be playing every summer.”

Like a lot of people, Garant found it hard not being able to play the game he loves and scratch his competitive itch during the pandemic.

“It was honestly really tough,” said Garant. “For a lot of people, physical activity is a need and I found without the two years (with lacrosse), it was extremely tough for me.”

In May 2021, just to get the chance to feel his competitive edge, Garant and a friend of his ran an ultra marathon (52 kilometres) from Vernon to Kelowna.

“We just needed to let something out.” said Garant.

That competitive edge is stronger than ever being able to play lacrosse again.

“I’m really a competitive guy and I’m very fortunate to play at high levels of lacrosse but I think competitiveness is what really drives me to be on another level,” said Garant.

He’s shown how much he has missed the game so far this season. In the five games the Raiders have played, he’s put up 52 points (31 goals, 21 assists), which by far leads the league. His 31 goals account for more than 40 per cent of the team’s goals. The next closest are two of his teammates who have 19 points each.

“It’s definitely some silly video games numbers,” joked Garant. “Not playing for two years, I had some points to catch up on.”

The Ontario native was drafted to the Vancouver Stealth of the National Lacrosse League back in 2017 and spent that season on their practice roster. Following that, he played three seasons for the Langley Thunder senior-A.

After a great start to the year, the Raiders are at a strange point in their schedule where they have nearly a month off between games. They last played on May 19 in Vernon and don’t play again until June 10.

“It’s so weird, I actually don’t understand it,” said Garant. “I personally don’t like it, I feel like especially when we’ve been in a groove.”

The Raiders are at home at Rutland Arena for their game on June 10 against Vernon. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the arena.

Kelowna last won the TOSLL championship in 2014.

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@cunninghamjordy
jordy.cunningham@kelownacapnews.com

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