By Rebecca Billard - Burns Lake Lakes District News
Published: September 21, 2010 11:00 PM
The Burns Lake Braves are back again this season and are ready and raring to go.
Wes Hart, Burns Lake Braves goalie said to Lakes District News that he has been busy getting things organized for the season start up.
The first Burns Lake Braves game set for Oct. 2 is to be on home turf against the Williams Lake Stampeders.
Hart said the stampeders are a tough team to play and were the top team last year.
An exhibition game against the Houston Luckies in Houston is also set for Sept. 25. which Hart said will be a good opportunity for the team to warm up for the season opener.
"The exhibition game is good preparation for the season ... we had invitations to play in Terrace and Prince Rupert but we thought it was too tough on the guys to travel there as well as all the travel involved with the season games so we decided to keep the exhibition game local," Hart said.
"Houston had sent us a game invitation so we accepted that," he added.
Hart went on to say that the exhibition game will also give the team the opportunity to see where any new players on the team are at.
"It is better to start off playing in an exhibition game than to throw them into a season opener game against the stampeders," Hart said.
"It also gives us a chance to play a game as it is the first game we have played since February," he added.
"We want to keep the team viable and keep the team around, our costs have doubled since last year, our hotel and bus costs add up - it is all expensive and looking back on last year we are able to see how much the actual costs were," Hart said.
Hart added that the Burns Lake Braves receive good gate support from local residents and also good support from local businesses however he said they have had to knock on a few more doors for sponsorship this year.
"We don't want to have to increase gate fees, it is cheap and we would like to keep it that way, asking more at the gate would be a last resort," Hart said.
He said the team was fully aware that the local economy had taken a hit and that things are tight for people and local business however they want to keep the Burns Lake Braves going.
The team line up this year will also include many of the players from last season including Hart, Steve Wilejto, Dave Wilejto, Ryan Fehler, Chris Ivany and Matt Matus. There will also be returning players from Fraser Lake and a handful of new players on the team from Prince George.
Season tryouts are also scheduled to be held on from Sept. 21-23 at the Tom Forsyth Memorial Arena and players aged 18 years and up can try out for the team.
"The tryouts are really just more preparation for the coming season," said Hart adding that most of players are back on the team again this year although a few more players will be recruited as well.
"We carry about 30 players every year with 18 guys in the line up," Hart said.
There will be a total of eight home games played at the Tom Forsyth Memorial Arena this year and it is hoped that the community will rally behind the team and come out to the games to show their support.