By Fred Wallace
The defending Canadian Senior Lacrosse Champions, the Owen Sound van Dolder Home Team Woodsmen, begin their training camp this weekend at Shallow Lake.
The Woodies will put together about a half dozen workout sessions leading to their home opener and season opener on Saturday May 2nd when they host the Norwood Nitro at the J.D. McArthur Arena.
Year after year, when looking at the season ahead and the bodies who will make up the Woodsmen, General Manager Mark Berner has always been fond of saying, " you don't know who you've got until they show up. "
Berner knows he will have two no shows.
Netminder Kevin Beauvais has elected after 5 years of driving from Brantford to Owen Sound for games and practices he'd like to play closer to home, if he's going to play at all.
And emerging defender Matt Rayner is off in the United States with academic pursuits in Texas, so he too will not be a Woodsmen in 2009.
And they'll be missed.
As for the remainder of the crew, Berner believes he has two positive features that are appealing to any veteran or newcomer to Senior lacrosse.
One, the Woodsmen have a decade long history of being an elite team, if not the Championship team.
And number two, equally as important to Berner, there is a spirit and a sense of fun with the Woodies that isn't easy to achieve or duplicate, regardless of what sport you're talking about.
Woodsmen Camp begins Saturday; the 2009 Senior Lacrosse Season starts in 19 days.
I'm Fred Wallace