The Cowichan Rats will begin defence of their Vancouver Island Lacrosse League title this week.
The Rats won the league championship in 2019, their first year of existence after they picked up the torch of the Cowichan River Rats, who played from 1999-2006 and won their share of titles. Thee league is back up and running after a two-season hiatus due to COVID-19, and the Rats are hungry to hold onto their title.
About half the team is back from 2019, but the Rats have bolstered their ranks with an influx of former Cowichan Valley Thunder minor and junior players, including several members of the 2018 provincial junior B champions.
The Rats will open the season in Esquimalt this Thursday against the Victoria Blazers, who they defeated in a hotly contested three-game series to win the 2019 title. The Blazers had won five of the previous six championships.
Cowichan will play their home opener this Saturday at the Big Stick against the WSANEC Arrows, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission to all games is free.