as reported by Neil Stevens
Canada’s Stan Cockerton, a former star player and a committed executive in the sport for many years now, begins a two-year term as president of the Federation of International Lacrosse on Aug. 1.
“Becoming president was nothing I ever aspired to but I’m certainly honoured to have the position,” says Cockerton.
He’s a resident of Oshawa, Ont., and executive director of the Ontario Lacrosse Association.
Cockerton was an NCAA-champion field lacrosse player at North Carolina State, he also starred indoors with the OLA’s Oshawa Green Gaels, and he scored the winning overtime goal when Canada defeated the United States to win its first world field title in 1978.
“Stan is not just the Paul Henderson of Canadian lacrosse, he’s provided leadership and vision to lacrosse in both Canada and the world,” says Team Canada 2010 executive director Dean French.
Cockerton has worked closely with the international federation over the years and now he assumes the No. 1 role.
“I’m very proud of the work my predecessors have done,” he says. “We started with four countries in 1974, we have 30 teams at these world championships and we expect to have 40 at the next one.”
“I’m a lacrosse fanatic and this is kind of the top volunteer pinnacle for me. I’m very proud, very honoured.”
Team Canada 2010 general manager Johnny Mouradian and head coach David Huntley also were on that ’78 roster that was clobbered by the Americans in the round robin but dramatically turned the tables in the championship game.
“We all started jumping up and down like kangaroos,’’ Mouradian says of the spontaneous reaction to Cockerton’s winning shot. “It was mayhem.”
It had been overcast and raining. The soaked Canadian flag on the sidelines had been hanging limp on its pole. But near the end the sun broke through and a wind came up to show the flag as the players celebrated.
“What’s really unique about it is that team returned home making a commitment to grow field lacrosse,’’ says Mouradian. “To see Stan take the role he has with the A and become very instrumental in growing the game internationally, it just shows the passion he’s had and still has for the sport.”
Neil Stevens, Team Canada media contact