Special to The Journal
The Sarnia Legionnaires have signed what’s believed to be a record number of local players this year.
General manager Bob Williamson says no less than 16 of the Jr. ‘B’ hockey club’s skaters are from Sarnia-Lambton.
Team president Tom Knight said, “It might be a record. If it’s not, it’s close. And that’s the way it should be. It’s the main reason why I do this, to keep the emphasis on local players. Seventy per cent of our players should be Sarnia-Lambton kids.”
Knight said the high number of local athletes on the roster is a tribute to the excellent training provided by the area’s minor hockey coaches.
“They’re not with us just because they’re local – they’re good enough to compete at this level.”
Knight believes the Legionnaires lead the league in attendance year after year precisely because they put an emphasis on local talent. Some junior clubs are made up mostly of out-of-town “mercenaries,” he said.
The local contingent is led by Sarnia-born defenceman Sam McCormack, who has been named captain. Other Sarnians on the back end include veteran Ben Schoch and newcomers Alec Trusler and Jordan Hurtubise. Rookie blueliner Cade Robbins, meanwhile, hails from Brigden.
Up front it’s more of the same. Indeed the team’s ace scorer, Alec KeKoning, is from Sombra. Other local forwards include Josh Barraclough and Ethan DuPont, both of Corunna, Wyoming’s Zach Vanderwal, Port Lambton’s Greg Hay and Nolan DeGurse of Bright’s Grove.
Sarnia natives on the forward lines include Jarret Marks, Joel Pavey, Brett Corrigan, Jake Vince and Trevor Bogaert.
The Legionnaires played their home opener Thursday night and lost 3-2 to the visiting Komoka Kings at the newly refurbished Brock Street barn.