Eric Perroni - CLHOF - Class of 2021 - Player Inductee
Born in Oshawa, Ontario, Eric Perroni had a lengthy lacrosse career as a player (almost 30 years from Minor to the end of his MSL career). He began playing minor lacrosse at age 7 in the Whitby/Gerrard Road Minor Lacrosse Association.
Eric graduated from minor lacrosse to play six years at the Junior “A” level for Whitby (1980 to 1985) winning three Minto Cup championships (1980, 1984 and 1985). (Of note - in 2006, the 1980 Whitby CBC Builders Minto Cup team was inducted into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame. In addition, the 1984-85 team was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2019).
During his career with Whitby, Perroni scored 139 goals, added 179 assists for a total of 318 points in 158 games played. He also accumulated 597 penalty minutes.
Upon graduating from Junior, Eric moved up to play Major Senior Lacrosse with the Brooklin Redmen, having a 15-year career playing from 1986 to 2000. Playing for the legendary Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame coach Pete Vipond – Eric was a member of four Mann Cup championship teams (1987, 1988, 1990, and 2000). The Brooklin team won the Ontario league for seven consecutive seasons which included winning a record 84 straight games.
Over the duration of his career at the MSL level, Eric Perroni played 381 games, scoring 192 goals, adding 324 assists for a total of 516 points. He totaled 1003 penalty minutes. In 1994, Eric was awarded the Ontario Lacrosse Association Most Valuable Defensive Player in Major Series Lacrosse. (Of note - the Brooklin team (1985-1991) was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2006).
A solid physical specimen – standing 6’ 1” and weighing 230 pounds, Eric Perroni was a hard-nosed physical player. He was regarded as a great defensive player who placed the team before himself. Although known for his defensive prowess, Eric placed 4th in scoring in the OLA Major Series in 1991. Certainly, his points total during his Junior and Senior careers would belie that Perroni was just defensively skilled. (Note: Eric Perroni was inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2019 in the Player category and now becomes part of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame class of 2021 being inducted in the Player category.
When informed of his forthcoming induction, Eric Perroni had the following comments – “Upon learning of my selection to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, my first reaction was WOW , I must have played to with a lot of exceptional players! But really, it’s more like I was surrounded by a lot of great people- teammates, coaches, team staff, executives and family. It is an honour to represent a sport that I have loved playing since my childhood. I am fortunate for the opportunities that have been presented with along the way and for that, I am truly thankful”.
The father of three children (Adam, Brock and Nicole), the game has become part of the family lifestyle. Although Brock played lacrosse, he had a greater affection for rugby. Adam was drafted by the Rochester Knighthawks of the NLL in 2017 and has played some games with Brooklin of the MSL. Nicole played for the Team Canada U19 lacrosse team who captured a Silver Medal at the 2019 World Championships. She attends the University of Louisville on a scholarship where she is excelling at field lacrosse.
As is often the situation for Lacrosse Hall of Fame people - Eric Perroni gave back to the game. He coached minor lacrosse. Not surprisingly, he was behind the bench for several minor lacrosse Ontario championship teams.
(Rad Joseph is a writer for Major Series Lacrosse and he wrote this profile on Eric Perroni)