By Rebecca Billard - Burns Lake Lakes District News
Published: November 17, 2009 11:00 PM
The Burns Lake Braves are back in the 2009 - 2010 Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL) playing in the east division after a four year hiatus.
CIHL vice-president and Burns Lake Braves goalie Wes Hart noted that the road to resurrecting the Burns Lake team was not an easy one.
"Myself and Dave Wilejto got the wheels in motion to get the team back up and running again," said Hart.
"There was a great deal of community support and it also helped that there were people involved this year that had also been involved in the past, we also had an existing bank account which made things easier," he added.
"We were able to get sponsorship too, but I would not say the process was easy," Hart said.
According to Hart the support from the local community has been great, both for fans and sponsorship of the team.
"We have one major sponsor, Flintstone Mining Division Ltd. who were our previous major sponsors, we approached them and they agreed to continue in sponsoring us and to buy our jerseys," said Hart.
"We also have approximately 20 other local businesses that are minor sponsors," Hart added.
Tryouts for the team were well attended with over 30 hopeful locals turning up for the Sept. 2009 Braves tryouts.
"We have enough players to play 30 different guys, some guys are not in the line-up all the time, but they are there to play when someone is out due to an injury or their jobs or family commitments prevent them from playing," said Hart.
"That's just the way it is with this league, some people are not available all the time," he added.
According to Hart the 2004 - 2005 demise of the Braves was due to a huge turn around of core players.
"We lost 13 players that spring due to work commitments and players moving away from Burns Lake.
This left us with a team of just 10 players and one goal tender, we tried to make it work, we also had to provide a $1000 performance bond and attend the Annual General Meeting in May, but with only 10 or 11 guys it just was not working so we had to make the decision to stop playing," Hart said.
But in the 2009 season the Braves are back with a total of five wins and two losses under their belts.
With a 30 man team line up their roster is as follows;
Jason Gudjonson, Jarrett Anderson, Steve Wilejto, Josh Weber, Shane Walsh, Dave Wilejto, Ryan Fehler, Justin Weber, Chris Harder, Dan McQueen, Kenneth Schmidt, Brad Blackwell, Chris Ivany, Chris Harms, Clayton Fisher, Matt Matus, Wes Hart, Chris Fields, Dan Konkin, Clayton Charlie, Darcy Ross, Tyrel Weber, Mark Bjarnason, Brent Petersen, David Dell, Clayton Derksen, Ridge Vienneau, Brian Matte, Tyler Saunderguard and Gord McCallum.
There is no shortage of local hockey talent to guide the Burns Lake Braves to a season on the top of scoreboard.
Their next game is Nov. 28 where they will be playing against the Houston Luckies.