Tribute to Grant McLeod – Pictures

Posted: October 5, 2013 by Paul Rai in Alberta Lacrosse, Box Lacrosse, Senior B, Vimy Lacrosse
Tags: ,

Outlaws325Today was the memorial service for an Outlaw team mate, Grant McLeod.  Grant passed away on September 23, 2013 at the age of 33.  Grant was the backbone of so many of the great Outlaw teams as he manned the nets for numerous Provincial Championships and two National Championships.  He was arguably the best box lacrosse goalie to ever come out of Alberta.  Grant’s resume speaks for itself.  He was the goalie on the following championship teams; 1998 First Nations Cup (Field), 1999 Founders Cup, 2000 Minto Cup, 2002 and 2007 Presidents Cup.

When I sit back and really reflect on Grant’s lacrosse career I am in awe of his accomplishments.  He was a gamer, he played hard and loved to compete.  He was one of several players that were able to play Junior A lacrosse in B.C. and was a member of the Burnaby Lakers Junior program that was so dominant in the late 1990’s into the eary 2000’s.  I was lucky enough to play with him in his youth when he was near his prime as a goalie.   He was the primary reason the Outlaws were finally able to win our first National Championship in 2002 when the Presidents Cup was played in Edmonton at the Bill Hunter Arena.  For so many years we could never break through at the National Championships.  There were some very lean years when we were cannon fodder for the opposition and then as the players returned from Junior A in BC and Ontario we gained the experience to finally compete and win.  Grant was one of those players.

I will never forget that final game that brought us the championship.  It was as if everything we had worked for came together in that final game.  No one was going to stop us and Grant was as solid as I have ever seen him in my life.  We played the Snye Warriors in the finals and Grant faced a total of 44 shots and giving up only 4 goals as we won the game 12 – 4.  That team was special and Grant’s play during that tournament was exceptional.  I can still remember sitting in our dressing room after the game sharing our personal thoughts on winning that championship.   It was one of the highlights of my lacrosse career, partially because we had won and partially because I had won it with a great group of Edmonton lacrosse players.

At the memorial service I had the opportunity to connect with a lot of team mates that I have not seen in a long time.  The room was full of a who’s who of Edmonton lacrosse.  Almost all of us are retired from our playing days.  We laughed and joked about the Grant McLeod we knew.  The one who would fire balls at you if you scored on him in warmup, the one that would slam his wooden goalie stick on the opposing team if they got too close to the crease, the one that would scream at you if you were not prepared to play, the one that would create a little havoc at the International Hotel in Calgary and the one that would never back down from a tough shooter.  Grant could be a pain in the butt at times, but when there was a big game to play he was the one we wanted in the net.  Still makes me smile to remember his escapades.

He was so young with so much life to live.

(Thanks to Mike Ricketts for the photos)


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