The Victoria Shamrocks have announced the return of two of the senior team’s most productive and popular players, with the re-signing of Rhys Duch and Corey Small to the club for 2015.
The duo combined for 152 points in 18 regular season games in 2014, with 76 points each to share top spot for overall points in the Western Lacrosse Association. Small was named a WLA first team all star, while Duch took home the Denny Huddleston Memorial Trophy as the top goal scorer with 40 on the season.
“Corey and Rhys are two critical pieces of our core,” said Shamrocks’ general manager Chris Welch.
“They’re two young superstars in the prime of their careers and they’re hungry to bring a championship to Victoria. They have remarkable chemistry together and they really balance our attack by posing big threats from either side of the floor.”
Duch and Small dominated the attacking zone in 2014, combining for 74 of the team’s 176 regular season goals and leading the ’Rocks to a league-best eight–game winning streak, the longest the WLA has seen since 2008.
Duch, a six-foot, right-handed shooter from Victoria, is ready to start his seventh full season with the senior Shamrocks. A three–time all-star (2009, 2010, 2011), he’s a veteran of the post-season, having started every playoff and Mann Cup game with the Shamrocks over the past two seasons.
Small is a five-nine, left-handed goal-scorer originally from St. Catharines, Ont. who now lives and works in Victoria. He had a stellar 2014 returning from a season-ending injury suffered in the 2013 playoffs.
As well as being voted most popular player last season by the fans, his 34 goals and 42 assists in the regular season allowed him to extend his streak of finishing in the top six in scoring to four seasons.
The two snipers are currently teammates with the Vancouver Stealth of the indoor professional National Lacrosse League. Duch is leading the team with 24 goals and 33 assists in nine games – he’s No. 8 in league scoring – while Small has 39 points in eight games, good for third on the team.
The senior Shamrocks kick off their 2015 campaign at home on May 22 against the Nanaimo Timbermen at The Q Centre in Colwood.