Waterloo Region Record
By Christine Rivet
WATERLOO — Greg Hummel is a patient man.
The coach and general manager of the expansion Kitchener-Waterloo Velocity has to be.
Since most of his Sr. B lacrosse team's prospective players are tied up with their current clubs, Hummel has no choice but to sit and wait.
The Velocity enter the six-team Ontario Sr. B Lacrosse League this spring and Hummel is confident the K-W squad will provide an enticing destination for local lacrosse players who want to return to their roots this summer.
Did someone say Ryan Benesch? Or Dhane Smith? The possibilities — including those Kitchener-bred superstars currently with the professional National Lacrosse League's Buffalo Bandits — are tantalizing to say the least."I'd love to have all the local guys playing in the NLL," Hummel said on Friday. "But I respect that those guys are focused on their pro teams right now until April.
"When they are ready to talk about this summer, they can call me."
Meanwhile, Former K-W Braves Jr. A scoring ace Chris Cloutier, dealt to the Six Nations Arrows last summer, could be on his way to play for the Velocity this spring and summer.
Cloutier is now at the University of North Carolina where he led the Tar Heels to a national field lacrosse championship last spring.
He was taken by Sr. A lacrosse's Cobourg Kodiaks (formerly, the K-W Kodiaks) first overall in the Major Series Lacrosse draft.
But Cloutier may opt to stay at home in Kitchener this summer and play for the Velocity, Hummel said."It makes a lot of sense for him to stay here with the pro or semi-pro nature of the MSL. That might be in conflict with NCAA rules."
The Velocity could also be on the receiving end of a Sr. B rule that allows Kitchener-Waterloo residents who played elsewhere in the league to come home to play without compensation going to their former club.
That means a guy like Kitchener native and former Wallaceburg Thrashers and Owen Sound North Stars goalie Tyler Glebe could be on his way to the Velocity, Hummel said.
The Velocity will hold an open tryout on March 26 at Queensmount Arena, which ought to give the club an idea of which local players are interested, Hummel said.
Until then, Hummel will just have to bide his time.
"If I had a nickel for every guy who said he wanted to come home and play, I'd be a rich guy. But until they show up and sign a player card, you just don't know."
The Velocity open their 16-game regular season on April 30 in Oakville. K-W's home opener is May 6 at the Waterloo Memorial Rec Complex.
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Christine Rivet covers sports for the Waterloo Region Record.