Shamrocks alumni primed for another John Crowther Memorial event

The Victoria Shamrocks’ third annual John Crowther Memorial alumni game is set to face off Friday night at The Q Centre.

The first two games were a huge success as the association continues to raise funds for scholarships for young players and their families within the Victoria community, said Shamrocks alumni spokesman Walt Christianson.

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“The last two years, the atmosphere was so much fun. The players loved it and the fans loved it. We initially said, ‘Well, let’s give it a try,’ and it’s turned into this really neat event,” said Christianson.

“It’s a fun one. It becomes fairly competitive. I talk to the kids to make sure no one gets hurt, but the kids play fairly hard and most of the alumni guys are still young enough where they can play a little bit. Of course, we cheat a little bit so that they can’t fast break on us,” he added with a chuckle.

The alumni will play the Saanich midget team for one period and the Intermediate and Junior Shamrocks in the other two periods.

This year will include 20 alumni players from the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s including Rick Brown, Grant Hamilton, Bruce Alexander and Darren Reisig. It is one of three fundraisers held throughout the year, the other two including alumni night at a Shamrocks regular-season game and a golf tournament.

“We give all the money to scholarships for lacrosse players and to associations to pay for kids who can’t afford to play. All of it is given away,” said Christianson.

John Crowther was a rookie in the Shamrocks’ Mann Cup-winning 1983 season and MVP of the national tournament. He played the next year out East and was tragically murdered. His mother, Betty Crowther, 95, will perform the ceremonial faceoff Friday with 10 members of that 1983 team also participating in the ceremony.

Cost for admission is $20 per family, $10 for adults and $5 for students, with children five-and-under free. Children with their minor lacrosse jerseys also get in for free.

CLOVER POINTS: The Shamrocks on Wednesday announced the signing of defender Ben McCullough, who returns for his sixth season with the WLA team. . . . The Junior Shamrocks travelled to the Fuller Lake Arena for an exhibition game against the Jr. Nanaimo Timbermen on Wednesday and open their regular season in Nanaimo on April 29, with their home opener on April 30. . . . The Intermediates will open the regular season Saturday at The Q Centre with Port Coquitlam visiting at 1:30 p.m.

mannicchiarico@timescolonist.com

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