The New Westminster Salmonbellies believe the team now has what it takes to be the best - and stay that way for the next few years.
It's future certainly looks bright after selecting Riley Alexander first overall at the 2024 BC Junior "A" Lacrosse League draft last Saturday, Jan. 13.
The Maple Ridge athlete was one of four first-round picks the Bellies had at the annual under-17 entry event in Langley.
New West also took Alexander's Burrards minor lacrosse teammate Brendan Marcher second overall, Port Moody's Brandon Kirby at third and Vancouver's Graham Farstad in the fifth slot.
Bellies general manager Warren Goss said his team is "really happy" with its selections.
"We were looking a lot at depth at all positions, really. We needed help on left side and addressed that," he explained in a news release, noting New West was also looking to add size to its line-up for the 2024 season.
"I think a couple of guys can step right into Jr. 'A' next year, maybe more."
"We did a lot of scouting to prepare for this draft," Goss added.
"And combined with the draft last year, where we also had a number of picks, we are really building for a good three to four run here with New West coming back to the top of the league."
Alexander and Marcher were also teammates on B.C.'s under-17 box lacrosse team last summer, earning silver at the national championships in Regina, Sask.
The two, as well as Kirby and Farstad, also developed with Fusion West field lacrosse.
The Bellies' remaining 2024 BCJALL Draft picks were as follows:
- Anthony Calleja (Maple Ridge)
- Second round, 11th overall
- Boris Maksimenko (Port Moody)
- Third round, 18th overall
Last year, New West finished sixth in the 2023 eight-team season standings and a record of 6-15.
The schedule for the 2024 season will be announced in the coming weeks, the BCJALL said.