Sharks Jr B to stay in tier 3

Oceanside to test mettle against tier-2 Saanich at home at 7 p.m.

Parksville Qualicum Beach’s first ever Junior B lacrosse team is disappointed they were not allowed to play in the league’s tier-2 division.

The Oceanside Sharks have proven they are good enough to be in that division having beaten one of the top teams in tier 2, Campbell River 13-12.

Assistant coach John Shafi said when the commissioner of the league presented their request to the tier-2 teams, the group felt they were too far into the season to add another team.

“The crux of the problem is timing,” said Shafi. “If the commissioner put forward our request in early May, right when it was first brought up, we might have been able to get in. We are disappointed but we are now resigned to play in tier-3.”

Shafi said after explaining to the players the situation, none of them are quitting. Despite some of them having the chance to play for the Nanaimo Timbermen Junior B team, they remain faithful to the Sharks.

“All of them that are of age next year have indicated the willingness of coming back to play,” said Shafi. “So next year, we are going to declare as a tier-2 right in November and play where we belong.”

Shafi has no doubts the Sharks will advance to the provincials this year as they have dominated in tier-3 so far. They have beaten the Westshore Whalers twice, 13-2 and 17-4.

This weekend, the Sharks will test their mettle against a tier-2 team, Saanich on Saturday at Oceanside Place at 7 p.m. Shafi said they want to keep the team as sharp as they can heading to the provincials in July. They plan to set up more exhibition matches against tier-2 teams on the Island.

Then on Sunday, the Sharks head to Duncan to play the Westshore Whalers again at the Big Stick at 5 pm.

Shafi said they are also planning to head down to Vancouver to gauge what the tier-3 competition would be like by playing some of the top teams there.

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