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Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Announces 2012 Inductees

Date: Jul 09, 2012
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New Westminster, BC – Eight new members and two teams have been named for induction into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

The new inductees include: Builders Murray Lehman (Surrey, BC) and Mike Gray (Whitby, ON); Box Lacrosse Players Tom Marechek (Baltimore, MD), Craig Stevenson (Surrey, BC), Derek “Jammer” Keenan (Oshawa, ON) and Tom “Slick” Wreggitt (Oshawa, ON); Veteran Players Ron Jay (Victoria, BC) and Bob Curtis (Peterborough, ON); the 1928 Canadian Olympic Gold Medal Team and the 1956-59 Brampton ABC’s Junior Excelsiors squads in the Team Category.

The new inductees will bring the number of those honoured in lacrosse's national shrine to 476 -- 142 Builders, 210 Box Players, 82 Field Players and 42 Veterans (those who played prior to 1970). There are 16 teams inducted in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Team Category.

The formal induction banquet and ceremonies will be held November 17, 2012 at the Firefighter’s Club in Burnaby, British Columbia. For additional information please contact Randy Radonich, Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Chair at (Home) 604-936-1642 or (Cell) 604-862-1642.

2012 Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductee Bios

Builders Category-

Murray Lehman (Surrey, BC) – Murray’s introduction to lacrosse began as a goal judge and bench official for the Inter-City Lacrosse League (now WLA) from 1963-70. His love for the game found him coaching youth lacrosse teams for the South Burnaby Minor Lacrosse Association and managing teams in New Westminster’s minor system in the 1970’s. In 1981, Lehman took the jump from minor lacrosse to become the BC Junior A Lacrosse League Commissioner, a position he held for nine seasons. In 1990, he accepted the Governor’s role for the Coquitlam Jr. Adanacs, then, in 1992 made his return to New Westminster with the Junior A Salmonbellies. Lehman spent a better part of eleven seasons on the Junior Salmonbellies board as Assistant GM, General Manager and President, winning a Minto Cup Championship in 1994. In addition, Lehman has held a position on the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Board of Governors since 1993 serving as Chairman from 1994-99. He is currently in his fifth season as General Manager of the New Westminster Junior B Salmonbellies.

Mike Gray (Whitby, ON) – Mike’s lacrosse journey began as a Brooklin youth lacrosse player in the 1950’s until his retirement from the Brooklin Redmen Sr. A team in 1971. Gray won the 1963 Minto Cup with the Oshawa Green Gaels and the 1968 and 1969 Mann Cups with Brooklin. He traded in his lacrosse gear for a clipboard and whistle to become the GM and coach of the 1972 Brooklin Senior Lacrosse Team. In 1976, Gray started the Brooklin Redmen Major Senior Lacrosse team taking on the General Manager role until 1987. In his tenure, the Redmen were bronze medalists in the Nation’s in 1980 World Box Lacrosse Championships, Mann Cup champs in 1985 and Mann Cup finalists in 1986. Mike held the Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA) Major Commissioner position from 1987-1994, then returned to Brooklin in the early 90’s as President and served various roles as Alumni President, broadcaster, Team Manager and General Manager until 2001. After winning the 2000 Mann Cup, Mike managed the Brooklin Merchants Senior B teams (2002-2004). Gray was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Team Category with the Oshawa Green Gaels and Brooklin Redmen teams.

Box Player Category-

Tom Marechek (Baltimore, MD) – This Junior A lacrosse star played for the famed Victoria-Esquimalt Legion from 1985-89 winning a Minto Cup in 1988. A perennial Junior A all-star, Marechek ended his 84-game Junior career with 195 goals, 261 assists for 456 points and 188 penalty minutes. Tom honed his field lacrosse skills in the Victoria Seaspray system until 1989 when he joined teammates Gary and Paul Gait at Syracuse University. He was part of the Orangemen domination of NCAA field lacrosse from 1989-92 winning two NCAA titles in 1989 and 1990. In 1997, Marechek returned to the Victoria Senior A Shamrocks to win the 1997 Mann Cup at home. His professional career was simply outstanding – as a career Philadelphia Wing star (1994-2005) he won four National Lacrosse League (NLL) championships while being named a First or Second Team All-Pro eight times. In 161 NLL games, Marechek scored 422 goals, 420 assist for 842 points and 188 penalty minutes. He also played professional field lacrosse with the Baltimore Bayhawks netting 299 points in just 88 games. Marechek was named to the NLL Hall of Fame in 2007.

Craig Stevenson (Surrey, BC) – Craig started his lacrosse career in the hotbed of Peterborough (ON) as a youth up to the Junior and Senior levels. Stevenson bagged three Minto Cups in 1986, ‘87 and ’89 with the Peterborough Junior A team and was selected as the 1989 Minto Cup MVP. In his Junior career, he netted 194 goals, 323 assists for 517 points. After three season with the Peterborough Lakers Major Senior team, Stevenson was recruited west by the New Westminster Salmonbellies, and never went back. From 1993 to 2006, Stevenson wore the ‘Bellies jersey where he was named an All-star on four occasions and ended his career 17th in all-time WLA scoring. In his 17-year Senior A career in Peterborough and New Westminster, Stevenson scored 440 goals, 711 assists for 1151 points in 400 games. Stevenson’s 5-year NLL career had stops in Buffalo, Ottawa, Vancouver and Calgary amassing 76 points in 37 games. Derek “Jammer” Keenan (Oshawa, ON) – Derek played in seven seasons (1976-1982) with the Oshawa Green Gaels Junior A lacrosse team where he was a perennial Top 10 league point scorer. Keenan played his entire nine Major Series seasons (1983-89, ’92 & ‘95) with the Brooklin Redmen, winning three Mann Cup titles in four years (1985, 1987 & 1988). He was the OLA Major Series Top Scorer and MVP in both 1987 and 1988. In 212 career games, he scored 342 goals and 437 assists for 779 points and 361 penalty minutes. In 1991, Keenan played one season with the Whitby Steelhawks of the Canadian NLL winter pro league where he was the league Top Scorer and MVP. In three Major Indoor Lacrosse League seasons, Keenan netted 123 points in 27 games with Buffalo and Toronto winning two Champions Cups with the Buffalo Bandits (1992-93). Derek began his NLL coaching career in 2003 with the Toronto Rock with stops in Anaheim, Portland and currently Edmonton. Keenan was inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Association Hall of Fame in 2009.

Tom “Slick” Wreggitt (Oshawa, ON) – Tom played in 20 seasons of Major Series lacrosse (1979-99) with the Brooklin Redmen and Peterborough Lakers winning four Mann Cup titles with Brooklin in 1985, ’87, ’88 and 1990. Wreggitt was in the Major Series Top 10 of scoring in 11 of those seasons. In 332 regular season games, he scored 426 goals and added 654 assists for 1080 points with an additional 131 goals and 178 assists for 309 points in 168 playoff games. Wreggitt is currently 12th in Canadian all-time playmakers with 832 assists and 16th in all-time Canadian point scoring overall with 1389 points. Wreggitt was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Team Category with the Brooklin Redmen (1985-91) team and into the Ontario Lacrosse Association Hall of Fame in 2011 and as a player.

Veteran Player Category-

Ron Jay (Victoria, BC) – Ron Jay is one of a generation of exceptional boxla players who developed in Ontario, but shared their prowess as a Senior player on the west coast. Born in Peterborough (ON), Ron was a star athlete in hockey, lacrosse and football, managing to stand out as both a coach and a player before he was eighteen years old. He scored 86 points in his final year of Junior lacrosse (1957), before leaving for Victoria, where he enjoyed eleven seasons with the Shamrocks. Jay scored 383 goals and 245 assists (628 points) in 327 games – with an additional 28 goals and 13 assists with Peterborough. Ron was inducted into the Shamrock Wall of Fame in 2010.

R.G. (Bob) Curtis (Peterborough, ON) – After amassing an impressive 2.07 points per game average as a Peterborough Junior, Bob Curtis graduated to the 1954 Peterborough Timbermen, helping win a Mann Cup in his very first year as a Senior player. He helped his team earn the league championship four more times (1955-57, ‘59), earning a stellar 2.57 points/game average. He was a top ten scorer for the first six years of his career (1954-60), but was more than an offensive force. Bob was also known as a talented loose ball man and a quiet leader who let his play do the talking. In 224 career games, Curtis scored 365 goals and 210 assists for 575 points. His number was raised to the rafters by Peterborough in 2009.

Team Category-

The 1928 Canadian Olympic Gold Medal Team – When the New Westminster Salmonbellies won their tenth Mann Cup in 1927, they won the right to represent Canada at the Amsterdam Olympic Games in 1928. Lacrosse was classed as a demonstration sport, but the Salmonbellies knew it was a chance to determine the world’s best. With little financial assistance from Canada’s Olympic fundraisers, the team was forced to earn its way across the Atlantic, playing exhibition games in Canada and Holland. Olympic game results had the USA beat Canada 6-3, England in a 7-6 upset over the USA and Canada 9-5 over England. The result was a three-way tie, earning Canada, England and the USA a share of gold. But the Canadians had to pay their own way home too, and played another four exhibitions in England, Montreal and Ottawa before returning to BC. All together, the Canadians travelled two months, amassing an 11-2 record and winning gold for their country.

1956-59 Brampton ABC’s Junior Excelsiors – In 1959, the Brampton Junior Excelsiors did something no team had ever done before. They won a third straight Minto Cup, cementing their dominance as Canada’s national Junior lacrosse champs. The core of that “three-peating” team was formed in 1956 with a team that won its first of four consecutive Eastern league championships, but ultimately lost to Vancouver Mount Pleasant Legion in the 1956 Minto Cup. But that first taste of the Minto success was enduring and the Excels would not be denied against Victoria Shamrocks in 1957 and ‘58, and then the New Westminster Salmonbellies in 1959. Brampton won twelve Minto Cup games in three years, losing only four. Their numbers included eleven inductees to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

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Contact:
Jeff Gombar
604-421-9755 Ext. 3

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