Enthusiasm and Excitement increases as Owen Sound returns to Major Series Lacrosse
Major Series Lacrosse fans know players on the rosters are among the very best in the world. And the lacrosse community of Owen Sound is about to become part of that experience again when the Owen Sound Lacrosse Club opens the 2022 season at home on Saturday, May 28 against the Six Nations Chiefs.
Joe Norton, owner of the Owen Sound team is on record noting his recent experience with Ontario Series Lacrosse (Senior "B") confirmed the viability of an MSL team in Owen Sound. Mr. Norton recited a number of facts for his reasoning noting – “There is a loyal lacrosse fan base in Owen Sound along with a strong sponsorship base. In addition, the community has a large and supportive minor lacrosse program and supportive local media. We believe in the MSL and the success that will be experienced in Owen Sound”.
Keith Peer – President
“Can't help but be excited that MSL has returned to Owen Sound”
Keith Peer who is the President of the Owen Sound Lacrosse Club, well known and respected in lacrosse circles, particularly in the Owen Sound lacrosse community, offered a very thorough insight into the return of Owen Sound to MSL and to the Owen Sound sports community.
“I think any time you are a fan of a sport and you have the opportunity to see the world's best play locally, you can't help but be excited that Major Series Lacrosse has returned to Owen Sound. Until the birth of the Owen Sound Attack (Ontario Hockey League), you could very well argue that Owen Sound was a lacrosse first community having won multiple Presidents Cups and Founders Cups. The Attack have done an exceptional job in marketing and promotion and becoming the Bayshore Arena's No. 1 draw. With the proper marketing and promotion, we hope the MSL team rivals their success. And with the quality of product, we can put on the floor, I believe it will be supported in the area.”
In regards to Owen Sound already having a senior B and junior B team, Peer responded, “A busy lacrosse community is a good thing. We are one of very few centres that offer lacrosse from beginners to Major. I think our organization’s goal is to capitalize on the MSL team to help grow the sport from the top right down to the grass roots in both boy’s and women’s lacrosse”.
In addressing the concern about players willing to commit to playing for the Owen Sound team, Peer said. “Show me a lacrosse player that has played a summer in Owen Sound and I'll show you a guy that believes it’s a great place to play and visit when playing days are over. In fact, every generation has someone who came to play for a summer and ended up making this their home. I think of Rick Bisson, Brian Jones, Willy Arnold and Rodney Tapp.”
Steve McCarthy – General Manager
“Fully expects to compete”
Generally reserved when offering comments, Owen Sound Lacrosse Club General Manager Steve McCarthy expressed plenty of enthusiasm regarding the MSL franchise. He knows, “Owen Sound has a rich history of lacrosse including a Mann Cup championship. We fully expect to compete right from the get-go. I am certain the Owen Sound lacrosse fans will be on board supporting the team. In addition, the Harry Lumley Arena is a top-notch facility, certainly worthy of being the home to an MSL team”.
MSL excited for Owen Sound lacrosse
With the return of MSL to Owen Sound, MSL commissioner Doug Luey, said, “Major Series Lacrosse is excited and pleased to bring our brand of lacrosse to Owen Sound. We feel the Harry Lumley Bayshore Complex is the perfect venue for the best indoor lacrosse in Canada. Owen Sound lacrosse fans are among the most loyal and knowledgeable supporters of our national summer sport. With a young talented team, lacrosse fans can expect them to be competitive right out of the gate. Do not be surprised, if in the near future, the Owen Sound lacrosse community is celebrating a Mann Cup victory.”
Other MSL lacrosse insiders share in the excitement of MSL lacrosse returning to Owen Sound. Ted Higgins, president of the current three-time defending Mann Cup champion Peterborough Century 21 Lakers, stated, “Owen Sound has a great history of playing senior lacrosse going back to the 1950s. I fully expect the Owen Sound team to be successful. It is a good lacrosse town and the MSL will thrive there.”
Steve “Chugger” Dietrich, the general manager of the Oakville Rock was emphatic when he commented, “I believe Owen Sound is a great addition to Major Series Lacrosse. I had the pleasure of playing senior B lacrosse in Owen Sound and the fan base and community involvement was terrific.”
Dietrich played for Owen Sound for three seasons including the 2008 and 2009 Presidents Cup champion Owen Sound Woodsmen.
Duane “Dewey” Jacobs, president and general manager of the Six Nations Chiefs said, “Owen Sound has a long and storied history of lacrosse in Ontario. The community always gets behind their local teams and we look forward to going there and putting on a good show”.
John Webb, general manager of the Cobourg Kodiaks said, “Cobourg is very excited for Major Series Lacrosse to have Owen Sound as a member of this great league. Owen Sound a rich lacrosse history. Cobourg is looking forward to playing in front of the Owen Sound fans.”
In projecting what the 2022 MSL seasons holds for Owen Sound - given the talent the team is expected to have; the rich lacrosse history the Owen Sound community has; expectations and excitement are abundant for Major Series Lacrosse in Owen Sound. Opening night should be an event. Circle May 28th on your lacrosse calendar - Be there to watch the best lacrosse players in the World playing in a first-class venue in front of very knowledgeable and enthusiastic lacrosse fans.
Brief History of Owen Sound Senior Lacrosse
Lacrosse in Owen Sound began in the late nineteenth century playing field lacrosse in the late 1800s. In 1910 and 1911, the Owen Sound Alexandrias junior field lacrosse team captured the Canadian Lacrosse Association Junior Championship. In 1911, the junior champions also challenged for the CLA Intermediate Field Lacrosse Championship. The Alexandrias defeated the Toronto Maitlands to claim their second league title in the same season. By the 1930s, box lacrosse arrived on the local sporting scene. As local players improved, in 1940 and 1941, the Owen Sound Georgians won the Ontario Lacrosse Association senior B championship. After winning the senior B championship in 1941, the Georgians entered the Mann Cup playdowns. Although losing to Etobicoke, the joy for watching for senior A lacrosse was established in Owen Sound. In 1942, the Georgians joined the senior A loop successfully qualifying for the playoffs. They were eliminated by the eventual Mann Cup champion Mimico-Brampton Combines.
The impact of the Second World War led to the Owen Sound Georgian senior A club to shut down. But Owen Sound returned to the Ontario Senior loop when the war ended. The team was consistently competitive and in 1951 the Owen Sound Crescents won the Mann Cup – the one and only time Owen Sound has done so.
Since the Mann Cup championship in 1950, many Owen Sound lacrosse teams have enjoyed considerable success. Through the decades, Owen Sound lacrosse teams have celebrated winning six national Presidents Cup senior B championships - 1979, 1980, 1989, 1991, 2008 and 2009.
Major Series Lacrosse teams include the Brooklin Lacrosse Club, Cobourg Kodiaks, Oakville Rock, Owen Sound Lacrosse Club, Peterborough Century 21 Lakers and the Six Nations Chiefs
Written by Rad Joseph – Edited by Darryl Smart - Members of MSL Media team