Blood is thicker for Wrays

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

Edmontonians Dave and Barb Wray have season tickets for both the city's expansion Rush and the Calgary Roughnecks.

But when the Riggers travel up the QE II Saturday for Round 2 of this season's National Lacrosse League Battle of Alberta, there will be no split loyalties as family will trump hometown pride when it comes to which team they'll root for.

"I don't think it will be too difficult for us to cheer for Devan and Taylor, that's for sure," said Dave of his two sons who play defence for the Roughnecks. "They are my boys, after all."

Devan and Taylor Wray grew up playing lacrosse in Edmonton. Before Calgary's season-opener against the Rush at the 'Dome last Friday, the brothers faced a stream of media questions about what it was like to play their new hometown team. For the most part, they downplayed its importance.

However, this weekend's return engagement at Rexall Place -- a building they often visited in their youth -- will be special, both admitted.

"I was born in '79 so I was seven or eight-years-old when the Oilers were really in their heyday and it was always something special to go catch a hockey game in that building," said the 5-ft. 10-in, 200-lb. Devan, the elder of the two who now lives in Calgary. "There's a lot of memories there. I sure never thought we'd have the chance to play a lacrosse game there. It's going to be exciting."

Taylor -- who flies in from Charlotte, N.C., where he attends school and works as an assistant lacrosse coach at Queens University -- had similar thoughts.

"It'll be neat to play in Rexall in an arena where I grew up watching some pretty great hockey teams play," said the 6-ft. 2-in., 230-pounder. "There will be some sentimental value playing in Edmonton but, in terms of the actual game, I don't really approach it any different than I do any other game.

"It'll be neat to visit with some friends and family afterwards and know they're in the stands and that kind of thing. But, I said it before and I'll say it again, when we play the Edmonton Rush they're just another opponent for me."

Both Devan and Taylor played lacrosse over the years with many current Rush players and still have close ties to the Edmonton lacrosse community.

Dave serves as the vice-president of the Miners junior-A lacrosse club, which is coached by Rush assistant bench boss A.J. Johma.


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