Honoured Members

George Sykes

Date of Induction: 2014

Career: 1960 - 1979

George first picked up a lacrosse stick and started throwing the ball around at the Kelvin Community Centre when he was 12 years old. During his teen years he played three years of junior box lacrosse for the Kelvin Terriers before moving up to the senior ranks in 1967. George was an integral part of five Manitoba all star teams that represented the province in national boxla championships. In 1965, after winning their third consecutive junior league title, “Gino” and the Kelvin squad, fortified by a number of pick-up players from other teams in the league, went on to represent Manitoba at the Canadian Junior B Box Lacrosse Championships held in Huntsville, Ontario. Following his junior days, George joined the Elmwood Shamrocks senior boxla club. The team captured its first Winnipeg Senior Box Lacrosse League championship in 1969. Centring a line with fellow hall-of-famers Bruce Wisener and Cal Paul, the trio dominated the league by tallying 150 goals that year and George leading the scoring race in assists. George’s job resulted in him temporarily moving to Thompson, Manitoba where, in 1971 and 1972, he was instrumental in organizing a six-team senior box lacrosse league. His team won the league championship during both of those years, with George leading the circuit’s scoring derby on both occasions. Thereafter George returned to Winnipeg and rejoined the Elmwood Shamrocks. The Shamrocks would repeat as Senior League champions in 1976 and again in 1977. During that period George was selected to represent Manitoba in four Canadian Senior B Box Lacrosse Championships: 1973 in Halifax, Nova Scotia; 1974 in New Westminster, B.C. as the team reached the final of the President’s Cup; 1976 in Winnipeg; and 1977 in Edmonton, Alberta. George possessed a hard, accurate shot; his main forte though were his excellent passing skills and playmaking ability. George consistently placed among the top ten scorers in the senior loop, leading the league in assists several times. He played tough defensively as well, establishing himself as one of the best all-round senior players in the province. In addition, George was held in high regard by his teammates for his leadership skills, leading him to be named captain or co-captain of his club throughout his career. George retired from playing lacrosse in 1979 at the age of 32. However, he continued his involvement in the game by coaching bantam box lacrosse in East St. Paul in 1995 and 1996. In recognition of his dedication to the game over the years, the Manitoba Lacrosse Alumni selected George as the recipient of the prestigious 1996 Sam Thompson Award.

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