Six Nations Snipers Preview

by Stephen Stamp

The Six Nations Snipers are the first Arena Lacrosse League team to release their roster for the league's inaugural 2017 season.

The Snipers boast an intriguing blend of well-known veterans and talented youngsters that should make them a force to be reckoned with as the ALL kicks off this Saturday, January 7 with a tripleheader at the Tribute Communities Centre (formerly the GM Centre) in Oshawa.

Roger Vyse is the team captain. The “Rocket” has plenty of experience at all levels of the game right up to Major Series Lacrosse and the NLL. One of his assistants is less well known, although not to Roger. It is his cousin Rayce.

The latter Vyse hasn't played the game since Jr A. The team's original plan was to have him coach the defence, but Rayce decided he wanted to give it another shot at age 33 and he made the roster. General Manager Jake Henhawk says that Rayce has kept himself in shape and still looks like he could be in junior. Rayce scored a pair of goals in the Snipers' exhibition win over the Paris RiverWolves.

The offence has another tremendous Six Nations veteran in Cory Bomberry, Travis Bland and young players trying to establish themselves such as Tyler Albrecht, Shayne Adams, Danton Miller and Haodais Maracle. The surprise of training camp may well be Layne Smith, who still has two years of junior eligibility remaining but has the coaching staff excited with his performance through camp and the exhibition. Trav Longboat is even younger, with three years of junior left.

Jake Crans, an up and coming transition player, is the other alternate captain and will anchor the defence and transition. There are other familiar names at that end of the floor, too, with two-time CLax transition player of the year Tom Montour leading the way. Youth is again an important component. 2016 NLL draftee Brayden Hill and the meat-and-potatoes brother combo of Marcus and Travis Elvin add depth to the D unit.

Warren Hill looks like the best bet to be the team's starting goalie. The Georgia Swarm practice squadder has some capable backups in Chase Martin and Brandon Styres.

The Snipers will start to see how things are coming together when they hit the turf for the third game Saturday, facing off against the Oshawa Outlaws at 7 pm.