Lacrosse Talks


Presented by:

Biographies for the Lacrosse Talks Events

See the complete Lacrosse Talks event by clicking on the respective links.

All podcasts are available here: https://www.spreaker.com/show/lacrosse-legends

 

Featuring discussions with:

Bobby Allan Bruce MacDonald and David Stewart-Candy Don Barrie
Don Fisher Jack Fulton Russ Sheppard
John Grant Sr. and Jim Wasson Michael Kanatakeron Mitchell  Stan Cockerton

 And special feature stories:

Nations '80  Bill C212

 

Lacrosse Talks

 

 

Bobby Allan - Ontario

Bobby Allan was in a class by himself, the finest lacrosse player in Canada during his peak. His consummate skill, agility and adroitness in faking a move made him one-of-a-kind. His backhand shot was a prototype move.

Allan won three scoring titles, three league MVP awards, and the Mike Kelly Award in 1964 as the most valuable player in the Mann Cup. His record of 89 goals in 29 games in 1956, in British Columbia, still stands. He played on four Mann Cup championship teams and another four Mann Cup finalists.

Later, Bob moved into coaching—first with box lacrosse teams in Peterborough and Philadelphia, PA, and then as head coach of the Canadian National Field Lacrosse Team. His Peterborough teams won a Canadian Semi-Pro Title in 1969, a Mann Cup in 1973, and were Mann Cup finalists in 1970. His Canadian National Field team won the world championship in 1978 in Manchester, England. Bob was elected to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the Peterborough Sports Hall of Fame.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNunbX-z41U

 

 

Bruce MacDonald and David Stewart-Candy - Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame 

Join two of Canada’s top lacrosse historians--Bruce MacDonald and David Stewart-Candy—for a walk-through of lacrosse history in the latest Canadian Lacrosse Foundation’s Lacrosse Talks presentation. MacDonald is the author of Salmonbellies vs. the World and Stewart-Candy is the author of Old School Lacrosse. Both gentlemen are official historians for Canada’s Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum in New Westminster, B.C.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nDgaVvMr5s&feature=youtu.be

 

 

Don Barrie - Ontario 

Don started playing as a nine-year-old in 1949 in Peterborough. He played minor lacrosse in Peterborough and went on to play senior lacrosse in Brooklyn, Peterborough, Sorel, Montreal, Quebec City and Hastings.

He started coaching in the Peterborough minor system in 1960, winning 10 Ontario titles and went on to coach Junior A lacrosse in Peterborough in 1970, 1971 and 1977. He advanced to coach the Major A Lakers in 1998 where he was named MSL Coach of the Year. At the professional level, he was assistant coach with the NLL Philadelphia Wings in 1974 and head coach of the Maryland Arrows in 1975.

At the international level, Don was an assistant coach of the Canadian Field Lacrosse Team in 1978, again in 1982, and was convener of the team in 1990.

Don started writing a weekly sports column in the Peterborough Examiner in 1995, and continues to do so today. In 2008, he wrote a 600-page history of lacrosse in Peterborough: “Lacrosse: The Peterborough Way”. He went on to write two novels on lacrosse, Moon and Me (2009) and Stickman (2012).

Link: https://youtu.be/PG8ju44gJX0

 

 

Don Fisher - Historian

Don Fisher is originally from Syracuse, N.Y. and now lives in Buffalo. He has a Ph.D. in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a Professor of History at Niagara County Community College. He has numerous presentations and publications on the cultural history of lacrosse to his credit, including the book Lacrosse: A History of the Game, which was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2002.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4yoL205t78

 

 

Jack Fulton - British Columbia

Jack Fulton got involved in lacrosse in 1955. For 11 years he served as team manager and then as general manager for the New Westminster Salmonbellies. He served the CLA for eight years and was president for two years. Fulton and Harry McKnight founded the CLHOF in 1963. He was a member of the CLHOF’s board of governors and served as chair for seven years until his retirement in 1981. He coached minor lacrosse and was the general manager of the Canadian Field Lacrosse Team that traveled to Australia in 1974. In 1978, Fulton was presented with the Lester Pearson Award, presented by the Canadian Lacrosse Association for outstanding contribution to lacrosse at a national level. 

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f25zaNJxXbI&feature=youtu.be

 

 

Russ Sheppard — Saskatchewan

Russ was introduced to lacrosse in Saskatchewan through master coach Al Luciuk. He played some senior men’s lacrosse and began coaching youth in 1995. He moved to Nunavut as a teacher in 1998 and began the Kugluktuk Grizzlies lacrosse program in 1999. Soon after, he formed Nunavut Lacrosse. The journey of his program and the amazing impact the game had on the disenfranchised youth of the region has been captured in the recent release of the full-length motion picture “The Grizzlies.”

This Lacrosse Talk will tell the story behind the initiative and the movie and will be of great interest to all who love this game. 

His involvement with the game did not end with the Grizzlies. Russ moved to Edmonton in 2005 and helped found the Edmonton Razorbacks. He coached the Midget A Warriors, the Sherwood Park Titans Junior B, Team Alberta Box Midget and Bantam, and Team Alberta U16 and U19.

He signed a life rights movie deal in 2006 for the Grizzlies program and helped start and build the Vimy Ridge Lacrosse Academy. Russ moved to Toronto in 2008 to become the dean of students and the assistant lacrosse coach for the Hill Academy. In 2009, he coached the Sherwood Park Titans and attended law school in Edmonton. 

In 2012, he moved to Cranbrook, B.C. where he started the Badgers Field Lacrosse Program and assisted in growing Cranbrook Box Lacrosse.

As an administrator, Russ was a board member of the Canadian Lacrosse Association for six years and the B.C. Coaches Chair since 2014. Russ has worked with over 30 athletes who went on to play lacrosse in college in Canada or the NCAA. He was a master learning facilitator for box and field lacrosse, a writer of both box and field lacrosse manuals, and has worked with the CLA coaching committee for many years. Overall, he has helped to train thousands of coaches across Canada.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlBsYnzrSKQ&list=PLOdFTwNtG6psVmvoIOj6uSbI4N1qRUsCa&index=3 

 

John Grant Sr. and Jim Wasson - Ontario 

John Grant Sr. Biography 

John Grant Sr. excelled in box and field lacrosse. He played in Peterborough and was on the 1972 Minto Cup Champion as the MVP of the series. He won three Mann Cups with the Peterborough Lakers in 1973, 1982 and 1984 where he was also named MVP. With the Canadian Men’s Field Lacrosse Team, Grant won the World Championship in 1978. He also enjoyed two years of professional lacrosse in Philadelphia. In 1974 he finished fourth in league scoring and in 1975 finished sixth and set an NLL record for assists with 134. 

He helped resurrect Peterborough Minor Lacrosse (PMLA) from 67 kids in 1979 to 1100 kids 10 years later, acting within the PMLA as president, VP, house league VP etc. He coached at the minor, senior and pro levels. This included co-coaching Guelph to an NLL title in 1991 and helping guide the Peterborough senior teams for eight seasons.

Grant was transferred to Sudbury, Ontario and started up minor lacrosse there. The first registration resulted in 500 kids signing up to play. That resulted in the Greater Sudbury Lacrosse Association. John was president and coaching director, where he coached at all levels. He was also the representative to the Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA) for Sudbury and was on the OLA Grassroots committee. 

In 2007 he received the Merv Mackenzie award from the OLA, presented to the person who has done the most for the promotion of lacrosse in Ontario. 

John Grant Sr. is recognized as a member by the following Halls of Fame: Peterborough Hall of Fame, Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame, Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Jim Wasson Biography

Jim Wasson was an outstanding athlete where his spirit and desire enabled him to rise to superstar status in clutch situations. He was an incredible loose ball man and short man specialist as well as a clutch play-off performer. In three years of junior A lacrosse Jim won the team rookie of the year in 1970 and the team scoring championship in 1971. During his tenure in junior A, his P.C.O. team appeared in two Minto Cups winning the championship in 1972. Jim was an assistant captain all three years and led his team in goals during his two Minto Cup appearances with 18 goals in 11 games. Jim Wasson of Peterborough, Ont., was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the Peterborough Sports & District Hall of Fames.

Between 1971 and 1986, a span of 15 years, Jim appeared in 10 national championships winning six of them. Jim made eight Mann Cup appearances, winning the coveted trophy five times. He captained the Lakers from 1978 -1982. He led his team in Mann Cup scoring in 1973, 1980 & 1982 and was awarded the Mike Kelly Award as Mann Cup MVP in 1982. Jim recorded 1,431 points in his career to rank 11th overall amongst the top 50 scorers ever in Canadian major/senior box lacrosse. One highlight was scoring 11 goals and having 6 assists during one game in 1979; this is a Lakers Major Series Lacrosse record that is still held after 40 years.  Jim played professional lacrosse with the Philadelphia Wings in 1974 and 1975. In 1978 Jim was a member of the Canadian Men’s Field Lacrosse Team. He scored the tying goal in the championship game to force overtime that led to Canada’s victory. He played on the national team from 1978-1982.

Jim still maintains a keen interest in sports. After his playing career ended, he helped form the Kawartha Lacrosse Girls Field Lacrosse Club and he coached the senior A Lakers from 1994-1996 and then coached the junior A Lakers in 1997-1998. In addition, Jim coached high school boys and girls field lacrosse.

Jim Wasson is recognized as a member by the following Halls of Fame: Peterborough Hall of Fame, Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Link: https://youtu.be/_4L6oTeMNuw

 

Michael Kanatakeron Mitchell

Michael Kanatakeron Mitchell has been a driving force behind the recognition of Indigenous contributions to the game. He was born into a lacrosse family that had a great deal to do with stick-making for the world’s lacrosse community. Mitchell started playing the game with the Cornwall Island Braves Peewees, eventually making the Akwesasne Senior B team as a U17-aged player. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, he became the owner and general manager of Cornwall Island Thunderbirds. Mitchell built the Iroquois Lacrosse Association and was appointed to LC's Board of Directors. Mitchell was eventually honoured with the Lester B. Pearson award in 2014, and went on to establish the Akwesasne Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Mitchell’s reach goes beyond lacrosse. He worked with the Native North American Travelling College (now Ronathahonni Cultural Centre) in producing literature supporting the game and Mohawk culture. He was honored as a First Nations Filmmaker in 2017 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Mitchell has served as a Faithkeeper for his people and Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

Link: https://youtu.be/vdEk_L4-CU0 

 

Stan Cockerton

Stan Cockerton has served as the Executive Director of the OLA since 1986, after launching his career in amateur sport in 1982 as the OLA Program Director. He was then promoted to OLA Technical Director and eventually to Executive Director - a position he held for 35 years.

Cockerton began his legendary playing career after picking up his first lacrosse stick at the age of 12. He would become an all-star box player for Oshawa, with a playing style that was an immediate threat to his opponent’s goaltenders. As a Junior “A” player, Cockerton ranked 5th in all-time goals with 319 for the Gaels and was named ‘Most Valuable Player’ in Junior “A” in 1975 and 1976, he went on to be named Major Series Lacrosse’s ‘Rookie of the Year' in 1977.

Cockerton’s international career began in 1976 as a three-time member of Team Canada’s field lacrosse program (1978, 1982, and 1990), leading Team Canada to a World Championship gold medal in 1978 by scoring six goals and tallying three assists. This included the game-winner in the 17-16 overtime win against the United States. The 1978 World Lacrosse Championships were a watershed moment for the sport throughout Canada and a springboard for the growth of field lacrosse throughout Ontario. At the time, Cockerton was named “Player of the World.”

Cockerton played collegiate lacrosse in the United States for NC State University. He was a four-time All-American selection and still ranks among the all-time NCAA leaders in total goals scored (193), points (280), points per game (6.36). He still holds the NCAA Division I record for goals per game (4.39), 41 years later.  

Cockerton’s accomplishments as a player have been recognized through his inductions into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame (1990), Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame (1997, Inaugural Class), Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame (2003), USA Lacrosse Hall of Fame (2014), and NC State Hall of Fame (2016).

A Builder, Cockerton’s passion for the sport led him to serve as Vice President of the International Lacrosse Federation (now World Lacrosse) from 2003-2010, and President from 2010-2017. Cockerton’s contributions to the game internationally have helped shape the movement to return lacrosse to the Olympic Games. Cockerton was proud to witness a historic moment for lacrosse: the official recognition of the sport by the International Olympic Committee on July 20th, 2021. He was honoured with the Lester B. Pearson Award in 2011 by Lacrosse Canada for his outstanding contributions to the sport, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 by World Lacrosse for his international growth and development efforts.

Link: https://youtu.be/kRdU6DRK87I 


 

Special Features:

 

Nations '80

There are certain stories that are simply legendary. Bigger than a single individual, they affect sport in a major way. One of these stories is that of the Nations 80 Cup, an event that laid the groundwork for the future of lacrosse. It featured five international teams travelling to British Columbia for the first truly international box lacrosse festival: Australia, Canada East, Canada West, North American Natives, and the USA. It would lay the groundwork for the first FIL (now World Lacrosse) sanctioned World Indoor Lacrosse Championship in 2003, and also the beginning of the Iroquois National Team Lacrosse program.

Members of the five teams and knowledgeable spokespeople tell the story from their own unique perspectives. Join Dave Evans (Australia), Stan Cockerton, Wayne Colley and John Dalgliesh (Canada East), Frank Nielsen, Greg Thomas and Dan Wilson (Canada West), Jeff Gill, Lewis Mitchell and Dave White (North American Natives), and Craig Moore (USA) in a wide-reaching retelling of this major world tournament.

 

Bill C212

Throughout recent history, the fortunes of the game of lacrosse have ebbed and flowed. While the game has enjoyed some great times, it has also endured some undeniably bleak ones. Yet Lacrosse continues to fight back from the precipice during the tough times and has established itself on better footing. Its survival is uncanny and almost magical.

One of those difficult times was the end of the 1980’s, which saw Lacrosse in dire straits. Internal mismanagement and the Federal design to cut off funding to non-Olympic amateur sports were threatening to deal lacrosse a fatal blow, and it was unclear what would need to be done to ensure the survival of the game as it existed.

When things seemed at their worst, a few fearless souls whose passion for the game overrode their practical tendencies stepped up to fight the good fight. Their idea, to create Bill C212, would prove to be one of the most creative and difficult maneuvers the game had ever seen, and one it desperately needed to succeed. This story tells the tale of the six-year struggle that ensued as the sport pushed for Bill C212, which established lacrosse as Canada’s National Summer Sport.

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