Senior Tigers gone extinct

Vernon Senior Tigers fold due to a lack of box lacrosse players.

The Vernon Senior Tigers are done.

Team president Roy Clissold said a lack of players forced the Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League team to fold, four months before the 2013 season begins.

“The Senior Tigers are one of the oldest sports organizations in the Okanagan Valley and team officials regret having to disband the team,” Clissold told The Morning Star.

Clissold said only three players committed for this season. The league will hold a disbursement draft of those players.

“I can’t see a comeback,” said Clissold. “Most of the players have had to leave the area for employment. There are four ex-Tigers playing for the Okotoks Erratics (in Alberta).”

Clissold said there is a strong volunteer base, but without the Junior Tigers joining the Senior club upon graduation, the player numbers simply aren’t there. The Tigers, coached by Lawrie Skolrood, struggled to get 10 players at games last year and finished last in the four-team circuit.

The Armstrong Shamrocks, Kelowna Raiders and Kamloops Rattlers are what’s left of the Senior C Okanagan league.

Said Ryan Nitchie of the Shamrocks: “I was really disappointed to hear the news from Vernon that the Tigers would be withdrawing from the league. I particularly feel for the current and past players, executive and volunteers who worked hard to build their organization.

“I know quite intimately how much time and effort is put into building and maintaining a Senior lacrosse team and its success is built upon community support, dedicated volunteers, an energetic executive and ultimately the commitment of the players. If any of those pillars fail, then the job of holding up the team becomes very weighty.”

The Tigers will be best remembered for their championship Senior B run in the late 1970s when Vernon won three straight President’s Cup national titles.