The Washington Stealth announced today that three players have agreed to terms for the 2011 season, including two members of last year’s National Lacrosse League Championship squad. Assistant Captain Kyle Sorensen and transition player Jamison Koesterer will return to the Stealth next season, while free agent Clayton Richardson has signed a contract that will put him in training camp this fall.
Sorensen has been a staple of the Stealth defense for the past four seasons, serving as assistant captain for the team last season. The fifth-year defenseman has played his entire professional career with the Stealth, playing in 11 games last season. He finished with eight points (2g, 6a) and 45 loose balls during the regular season, and then appeared in all three playoff games for the Stealth, collecting 17 loose balls and adding assist during the Stealth’s championship run.
“Kyle is another key piece of our defense, and brings so much to the table that it’s hard to put into words just how valuable he is,” said Stealth General Manager Doug Locker of the 24-year old Sorensen. “Day in and day out he simply gives us everything he has both on and off the floor to make the team better. Kyle is a very mature savvy player who brings strong veteran leadership at a young age.”
Koesterer is entering his third NLL season and second with the Stealth. Last year, he was a force on face-offs, winning over 59% of his draws while playing in all 16 regular season games. He collected 101 loose balls during the regular season and his 6-foot-3, 235-pound frame provided a physical presence on the defensive end.
“Jamison was one of the sparks of last year’s Championship team who got better and better as the season went along,” said Locker. “His hard work on draws gave us those critical possessions we needed in big games. He has an incredible work ethic, a great sense of team and developed as one of the top drawmen in the NLL.”
The Stealth also added another free agent to the training camp roster. Clayton Richardson joins the squad after an impressive summer with the Western lacrosse Association Champion New Westminster Salmonbellies. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound defenseman was instrumental in the Salmonbellies’ run to their third straight Mann Cup Final, helping the defense hold opponents to just 7.5 goals per game in the WLA playoffs. In two seasons with New Westminster, Richardson has emerged as a top defender in the WLA. The Stealth coaching staff is looking forward to having the big left-hander at training camp.
“Anytime you have a chance to get a player like Clay you jump at it, said Locker. “He is a big, strong athlete who has a huge amount of potential; we are very excited to see him in camp.”
Training camp for the 2011 season is scheduled to begin late this fall. The 2011 season is scheduled to begin on January 8, when the Stealth travel to Colorado. The home opener is slated for January 9 against the Calgary Roughnecks at the Comcast Arena at Everett. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.