Lacrosse Legend John Grant Jr. Was Just Given A Key To The City

On Sunday (August 21st) in the Peterborough Sports Hall of Fame at the Memorial Centre, Mayor Daryl Bennett presented lacrosse legend John Grant Jr. with a key to the city.

It was a brief and private moment: Since Junior is a private and modest person, he thought a quiet ceremony would be fitting.

This is only the 13th time a key has been awarded by the city—a tremendous honour for Grant who has given so much to Peterborough sports.

This is Junior's last season with the Peterborough Lakers as he is retiring from his beloved team. Grant, 41, has been playing in the Lakers system since he was four years old.

Grant has won five Mann Cups while in Peterborough and MVP twice, and will retire as one of the biggest stars in Peterborough sports history.

—post by Scott Arnold

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Team Canada Names 3 Peterborough Lacrosse Players To Roster

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Team Canada named its roster today (November 6th) for their November 17th exhibition game against the Iroquois Nationals, and three Peterborough natives cracked the squad. Cory Vitarelli, Mike Grimes and Shawn Evans—Evans and Vitarelli are pictured at left from their recent appearance on TSN SportsCentre—will all suit up in what will be the first International lacrosse game to be played at the Bell Centre in Montreal since it opened on March 16th, 1996.

Vitarelli plays pro lacrosse in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) for the Rochester Knighthawks, while Evans plays for the Calgary Roughnecks and is the league's reigning MVP. Both of them still live in Peterborough and play summer ball with the Lakers. Grimes moved to British Columbia a few years back and he'll suit up this winter for the NLL's newest franchise, the Vancouver Stealth (formerly the Washington Stealth). Peterborough Laker Jordan MacIntosh was also named to the team.

Game time is 2 p.m. on November 17th and tickets can be purchased online here.

PTBOCanada's Sports Guy Scott Arnold

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Watch Peterborough Lacrosse Legend John Grant Jr. Do Awesome Trick Shots

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Tom Phillips On Peterborough's Astonishing Record Of Success In Lacrosse By Our Homegrown Players

Photo: Evan Holt

Last Friday I had the pleasure of *reuniting with many of my very accomplished lacrosse friends for the celebration of the area’s first Minto Cup, in 1961. Several members of that team turned out for the Merit Precision Juniors’ last game of the season, and the events to recognize the 1961 team’s accomplishment.

On Saturday a larger group of junior lacrosse alumni got together for golf and dinner. It was an opportunity to catch up with old friends, but more importantly, it was a time to celebrate an astonishing record of success by homegrown Peterborough players at the very highest levels of the game.

Since the 1961 Minto Cup win, Peterborough Juniors have won the Cup 12 times—the most of any other lacrosse community in the country. Along with the 13 Mann Cups won by the Seniors’ (the first being in 1951), and a national championship in a short-lived semi-professional league in 1969, Peterborough has 26 national lacrosse championships in 60 years. More astonishingly, the vast majority of the players on these 26 teams are Peterborough born-and-raised.

However, it is not the fact that we are all from Peterborough that has bound us together so strongly over the years; it is the winning tradition that has. Even the youngest of the alumni attending the weekend’s homecoming events could recite the accomplishments of the oldest players there. It is in the mutual and often unspoken respect for success at the highest levels in the game that is the greatest reward that comes from being involved in lacrosse in Peterborough.

It is one thing to win a national championship in any sport in a big-city arena filled with adoring fans; it is quite another to win a national championship at home, alongside your life-long peers and in front of a crowd of people who you have a personal connection with in one form or another.

Like the storied professional franchises in hockey and baseball—the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Yankees—it is not enough to just make the team. The only measure of success is in reaching the ultimate goal. Every year without a Minto or Mann Cup won by Peterborough is considered a disappointing year by our lacrosse community. It is the winning tradition as it is carried and told by those who have experienced it that sets the tone for every season.

As is so often the case in Canadian culture, where success is seen as less important than participation, lacrosse in Peterborough has never received the degree of respect that matches its success. Thankfully, the real success for those involved is more intimate than public. It comes in self-gratification in being the very best at what you are passionate about, and the ability to share that success with those who understand it best.

Photo: Stewart Stick

The Juniors’ have begun the playoffs with a better team than they have had in a few years, and the Seniors’ seem destined to defend the Mann Cup in the West this September. With these teams, new chapters in the history of Peterborough lacrosse will be written, and no one will be more proud of them should they bring the Cups home than those who most cherish our winning tradition.

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*Tom Phillips, a Peterborough native, was a trainer with the 1972 and 1973 Minto Cup teams (that was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2010), and involved with several other championship teams. He is currently a member of the Board of the Peterborough Merit Precision Junior ‘A’ Lakers.

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[Contributed by PtboCanada's Tom Phillips Ph. D.]

[Editor's Note: This is Tom's third column for PtboCanada.com. He is Economist & Sustainability Director - Greater Ptbo Innovation Cluster. Click here to read his first column for us on Peterborough's "Creative Class", and here to read his second column "Growing Peterborough From 'The Inside-Out'"]

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