As the lacrosse summer leagues gear up for the playoff and an eventual run for the Mann Cup, CalgaryRoughnecks.com will check in with all of our players across Canada over the next few days. Today, we start off with the man who will always keep an eye on the franchise he loves.
It was March 2 of this year when Toth was inducted into the Forever a Roughneck program, and his banner raised to the rafters. Days later, news broke that #9 would be taking over the Nanaimo Timberman of the WLA as head coach.
It was Toth’s first ever coaching experience at the professional level, and he’d be trying to reverse the fortunes of the team he used to play for during the summer.
The Timberman hadn’t made the playoffs since 2007, and had recently traded away their best player, Scott Ranger.
Expectations were not high, but the Timberman exceeded them.
“Everyone’s expectation of us, we exceeded them. My own expectations we didn’t exceed, but maybe I was a little too unrealistic with what I thought we had,” Toth told Josh Aldrich at the Nanaimo Daily News. “I definitely think we have a good team, we’re missing a few key pieces, but other than that we’re going to be right there and we’re definitely going to be able to compete for next year.”
The team finished 5-13, but Toth said the prospects are in place for a better squad next year.
“Now it’s something that I can build on for next year, I know what it’s going to take to get the guys pumped up and we’ll see what it takes.”
A few days before Toth was named head coach of the Timberman, Ranger was traded from the team to the Victoria Shamrocks. He knew his time playing summer leagues was coming to an end, and he wanted the best chance to add a Mann Cup title to his resume.
He made the smart choice, as the Shamrocks filled their rosters with superstars in the offseason, including reigning NLL Goaltender of the Year Matt Vinc.
In his first season with the Shamrocks, Ranger posted a scoring line of 33 goals, 27 assists for 60 points.
More importantly, the Shamrocks were the top team in the WLA for the majority of the season, before the Langley Thunder topped them in the final few games.
Victoria settled into second place, and will face off with the Burnaby Lakers in the first round.
It seemed only fitting that Jon would be traded halfway through the WLA season.
Starting off with the Coquitlam Adanacs, he was dealt at the deadline to the Shamrocks, joining his brother Greg in the green and white. In fact, there were seven Roughnecks players competing in Victoria.
In 17 games across the two teams, he scored goal and added seven assists.
In addition to his on the field career, he’s an assistant coach for the Junior “A” Adanacs with Roughnecks teammate Dane Dobbie and Roughnecks scout Neil Doddridge.
In his second season with inside the WLA, Decker nearly doubled his offensive output playing the transition position.
With the Burnaby Lakers, Decker, the Roughnecks 2012 second round draft choice, finished the season with 13 goals, 16 assists for 29 points in 15 games. It was good enough for the sixth spot on the scoring list for the third place Lakers. He’ll face off against the Shamrocks starting later this week.
In his first WLA season with the Adanacs, Dinsdale showed the offensive potential Roughnecks management loved to see.
Using his speed to his advantage, the 22-year-old sniped 21 goals, 23 assists for 44 points in 18 games.
On a team retooling on the fly, Dinsdale finished third on the team in scoring as Coquitlam pushed for a playoff spot late in the season. They open up against Langley in the playoffs on Thursday.