Major Series Lacrosse represented in 2022 Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductions

The Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame revealed the names of its ten 2022 inductees. The ten honoured inductees include players Rick Catton (New Westminster, BC), Blane Harrison (Whitby, Ontario),  Trish Nicholson (Richmond BC), Troyhann Santos (Whitby, Ontario), Josh Sanderson (Orangeville, Ontario) and Kaleb Toth (Calgary, Alberta).  In the Builder category are Rey Comeault (Maple Ridge, BC), Doug Luey (Whitby, Ontario) and Joanne Stanga (Orillia, Ontario). And in the newly created Officials category Bill Fox (Pickering, Ontario).

The inductees with direct connection to Major Series Lacrosse or Ontario lacrosse are referee Bill Box, players Blane Harrison, Josh Sanderson and Troyhann Santos, along with Builders Doug Luey and Joanne Stanga.

Honoured in the Officials Category

William (Bill) Fox

One of the finest officials in lacrosse, Bill Fox was also an accomplished box and field player.  He participated in numerous provincial and national championships including being a member of the 1980 Mann Cup champion Brampton Excelsiors.  In addition, Bill coached box and field lacrosse at the minor, Junior and Provincial levels.  Furthermore, Bill Fox made a significant contribution as a builder including being a co-founder of the West Durham Minor Lacrosse Association; Co-founder of the Toronto Field Lacrosse Program; CLA Board of Officials member; and recruiting and training Canadian and American referees. Bill Fox was also the Co-founder of the International Lacrosse Federation Referees Association.  His array of experience in officiating in box and field lacrosse can be described as vast and significant.

Refereeing for over four decades, included among Bill’s accomplishments are Induction into the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame in 2021; Recipient of the Allen G. Rae Builder Award from Sports Officials Canada - recognition of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the development of sports officials and the advancement of the sports officiating profession (2010).  Bill Fox was unavailable for comment at this time.  However, one of his referee colleagues Frank Lawrence offered the following thoughts – “Bill Fox has given so much to lacrosse, both field and box.  He has mentored countless young officials, always giving back to the game in so many ways.  It is great to hear Bill is being honoured as the very first person to be recognized in the Officials category for induction into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame”

Other refereeing colleagues of Bill shared similar sentiments.  Ian Garrison commented, "Bill Fox is the most selfless referee I have ever known.  He spent more time worrying about others than himself.  He is a refereeing legend".  Mark Gardonio stated, "Bill Fox defined teammate and there is no better candidate for this tribute".  Paul St. John offered this sentiment - "Great teacher of the game because he knows the game.  For Bill, it wasn't about Bill, it was always about the game".

Honoured in the Player Category

 Blane Harrison

Blane Harrison grew up in Whitby, Ontario.  Known for his stellar defensive abilities, which he complemented with offensive skills. Blane played four seasons of Junior “A” with Whitby (Minto Cup finalists in 1977 and 1978).  Blane made the OLA Junior “A” All-Star team twice (1978, 1979). On offence, he accumulated 140 points (including 59 goals) in 99 games. During his one season of Senior “B” with Kitchener, Blane was winner of the Most Valuable Defenseman Award.

Moving up to Senior lacrosse, Blane Harrison won the Merv McKenzie Trophy as the Most Valuable Defenseman three times (1980, 1983, 1989).  He showed his offensive skills in Senior tallying 342 points (including 193 goals) in 180 games.  Of note, Blane was on two Mann Cup championship teams (1987, 1988).

Harrison’s skills were not limited to box lacrosse.  He attended Michigan State University and was an All-Midwest Midfielder in 1983.  He was also a member of the Canadian Field Lacrosse Team in 1982 (Bronze medal) and 1986 (Silver medal). In an era when players played both ways, Blane Harrison excelled on offence as a scoring threat and on defense with his superb skills.  Although Blane Harrison was unavailable for comment at this time, Jim Brady who coached Harrison in Whitby spoke fondly of Blane, commenting – “There are certain players on any team, no matter what the situation - you want on the floor. Blane Harrison was that player.  He could score - in fact, he was a good goal scorer. Blane was a tremendous defensive player.  He was as close to a perfect player as one could be.  I always had Blane check and shadow the opposition team’s best player.  A very coachable player, Blane Harrison had no weaknesses.  I am happy to hear he is being inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.  He certainly deserves to be there”.    

Josh Sanderson 

Born in Orangeville, Ontario - nicknamed “Shooter” - Josh Sanderson is a gifted playmaker and goal scorer.  He was the OLA Junior “A” Rookie of the Year in 1994; the MVP in 1996; he led the league in scoring in 1996 and 1998.  As a member of the Orangeville Northmen, Josh won three Minto Cups (1993, 1995, 1996).  His all-time points in OLA Junior “A” were 255 goals and 274 assists.

Moving up to play Senior lacrosse with the Brampton Excelsiors, Josh won three Mann Cup championships (2002, 2008, 2009). Josh was the Mann Cup MVP in 2002. In Major Series lacrosse he totalled 321 goals and 539 assists.  Josh was inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2021. His response to being inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame was very Sanderson like – brief and to the point – “ I feel very honoured to be joining the CLHOF, particularly with my father Terry and uncle Lindsay in the Hall”.

Over 20 seasons in the NLL, Josh Sanderson won the Champions Cup in 2005 and 2009. When he retired, he was the fourth highest scorer in NLL history having scored 482 goals along with 972 assists for a total of 1454 points in 290 games. Josh Sanderson was inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame in 2016.

Josh’s father Terry and uncle Lindsay Sanderson were inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame (2015).  Terry passed away in 2014. Lindsay noted, “Terry would be over the moon happy to hear the news of Josh being inducted into the CLHOF as it is the ultimate honour for a player.  Personally, I was always amazed at what Josh accomplished particularly for his size.  His successes individually and as a member of a team speak for themselves.  I am not surprised Josh is being inducted as he has earned it”.

Troyhann Santos 

Although born in Ajax, Ontario -Troyhann considers Whitby home.  Her distinguished lacrosse career has reached four decades.  As a 12-year-old, Troyhann competed with boys in box lacrosse in the Whitby Minor Lacrosse Association.  From there, she has excelled at the highest levels of field lacrosse.

Troyhann was inducted into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.  She has also been inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2016. Responding to the news of her induction into the CLHOF, Troyhann stated, “It is an honour to be the 4th female player inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.  I hope this is the beginning of recognizing many more accomplished and deserving female athletes”.

 In 1984, Troyhann began playing for Team Ontario Women’s Field Lacrosse Team - playing on ten provincial teams winning 3 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze medals at the National championships.

Troyhann became the second Canadian woman in history to be awarded a lacrosse scholarship by an American school, choosing to attend James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, playing Division 1 in the NCAA.  She garnered All-South Second Team honours in 1992 and All-South First Team honours in 1993.

In 1993, Troyhann began playing for Team Canada.  Over the next twelve years she competed in 3 more World Cups (1997, 2001, 2005).  In total, Troyhann played in 4 World Cups. She represented Canada a 5th time participating in the 1994 Commonwealth Games.

Tracy Coyne, an accomplished field lacrosse coach including coaching the Canadian National Team from 1999-2005 spoke about Troyhann Santos commenting – “Troyhann is the epitome of the type of player a coach wants.  Along with great skills, she was very dedicated, a real team player.  When the game is on the line, Troyhann is at her best.  I know she continues to give back to the game.  I am thrilled, genuinely thrilled to hear the news Troyhann is being inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame”.

Honoured in the Builder Category

Doug Luey  

Born in St. Catharines Ontario, Doug has been involved in lacrosse for more than 50 years, mostly in the Whitby/Oshawa community.  His long-term commitment has taken place in Ontario, across Canada and Internationally.  Doug has held numerous positions including Team Coach, Manager, and Team and League Executive at the local, provincial, national and international levels.

When informed of his induction, Mr. Luey responded – “I am both honoured and humbled to hear the news. It has been a tumultuous couple of years and this news is exciting to say the least. To be selected to the CLHOF along with so many great players and builders of our National Summer Sport is extremely rewarding”.

Among his accomplishments: Won Founders Cup as General Manager of Green Gaels in 2002 and 2004; Began annual trip to the Czech Republic to the Ales Hrebesky Memorial Tournament winning in 2007 and 2010; Served as convenor for over 25 National Championships in Peewee, Bantam, Midget, Founders Cup and Minto Cup.

Doug Luey has received various awards including OLA Heritage Award; OLA Creators Game Award; OLA Presidents Award; Inducted into the Clarington Sports Hall of Fame in 2019 (as a member of the Clarington Green Gaels 2002 team); Inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2014; Queen’s Jubilee Award in 2012; CLA Recognition Award for Contribution in 2011; Appointed a Life Member of Whitby Minor Lacrosse in 2006.

Lynn Withers, currently the Interim Commissioner of Major Series Lacrosse shared these thoughts when informed of Doug Luey’s induction – “ I have known Doug Luey for many years. I worked with Doug for several years during the Minor Nationals in Whitby and since 2017 with Major Series Lacrosse. Doug has always been a pleasure to work with. His Lacrosse resume speaks for itself and his induction into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame is well deserved.”

Joanne Stanga

From Orillia, Ontario – Joanne Stanga has been instrumental in building women’s field lacrosse in Ontario, across Canada and internationally.  As a player, she competed for Canada and Ontario.  As a coach, Joanne has guided teams to provincial, national and international titles.  Her contributions to lacrosse also include serving in various administrative capacities.

Upon hearing the forthcoming induction news, Joanne was genuinely surprised.  She had a very long pause before saying, "I am literally speechless.  Without sounding like a cliche, it is truly an honour.  As well, being inducted in the same year as Troyhann Santos and Trish Nicholson makes it even more special".

Joanne’s coaching resume includes (Orillia 2006-2010, U19 Team Ontario 1990-2000, Team Canada 1994-2003).  In addition, her involvement includes building the game at a provincial level with the Ontario Women’s Field Lacrosse League serving as its Commissioner 1988-2005, nationally as the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) Women’s Field Sector Chair from 1988-1992 and the CLA National Team Director 2005-2013. Joanne was also a member of the Federation of International Lacrosse Competition Committee 2009-2017.

Among her many accolades, Joanne is a Lifetime Member of Orillia Minor Lacrosse.  She was inducted into the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame in 2021, the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2020; Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012; awarded Canadian Lacrosse Association’s Lester B. Pearson award in 2002 and the OLA Tip Teather Award in 1998.