Main photo: The Whitby Warriors, winners of the Minto Cup in 1984 and 1985, in front of Iroquois Park Arena in Whitby. (Back from left) Al Garrard, Bill Passfield, Craig McLennan, Dan Garrard, Greg Lepine, Peter Rempel, Greg Van Sickle, Todd Tran, Bob Duignan; (middle row from left) Elmer Tran, Ross Lemon, Gary Mark, Steve Skene, Bill Callan, Mark Brown, Gary Roberts, Gus Liadis, Rob Phinney, Scott Boyd, Neil Armstrong; (front from left) Ken Reilly, Jason Richards, Dave Sachko, Eric Perroni, Jeff Armstrong, Joe Nieuwendyk, Ross Tabor, Ken Passfield, Barry Kent, and Mike Carson (supplied)
Gus Liadis, a local resident, athlete, teacher, and coach, will be inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame class of 2019 on November 9 with his 1984-5 team, the Whitby Warriors Junior A. Liadis and his team won the Minto Cup in both 1984 and 1985. The team will be inducted under the Team Category.
Liadis has been involved in lacrosse for most of his life, from playing as a Huntsville Hawk in minor lacrosse since the age of nine to the Whitby Warriors Junior A team, and then played on the Senior Lacrosse Brampton Excelsiors which won the Mann Cup in 1992. Currently, Liadis plays for the Senior Silver Huntsville Hawks, coaches for the Huntsville District Minor Lacrosse Association (HDMLA), and is an Executive member of HDMLA along with being a teacher and coach of the Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes Secondary School field lacrosse team.
“It’s very humbling to be honoured,” said Liadis. “It’s making me really think about all of the people who helped to make it all happen.”
Liadis shared that his parents owned a restaurant and found it difficult to make it to his games so the community pulled together and supported him throughout his lacrosse journey. “I’m thinking of all the parents that helped to get me where I am today.” He has many fond memories of Bill and Merillee Fisher who were there for him when he needed a ride to and from games and practices and would come to watch when he played. “It’s the community that kind of does it,” he said.
“When you receive an honour like this, I think about all of the people that I learned from,” Liadis said. He mentioned that all of his coaches helped him to develop the skills needed to move forward in lacrosse, especially Jordan Bionda, who coached him during his Midget years—”I learned so much from him,” said Liadis—and Brian Thompson who coached Liadis in his Junior year, a team that took the Bronze in the Canadian Championships in the Junior B Division with Liadis as captain.
Thompson said, “Liadis is one of the very few athletes that had the ability to be aware of where he was on the floor and where everyone else was and needed to be. It was an amazing ability.” He also described Liadis as being a very graceful lacrosse player who was wonderful to watch in a game, and said he’s a giver and a tremendous leader.
Gus Liadis was clear that he is representing Huntsville with this inductee honour as the town has such a rich tradition of lacrosse that touched him as a young player, one that will hopefully continue to enrich the lacrosse players of today.
According to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, the 1984-85 Whitby Warriors “won the 1984 Minto Cup and repeated the feat in 1985. The 1984 team, led by Joe Nieuwendyk and John Fusco, was 22-2 in the regular season, 12-1 in the Ontario playoffs and defeated the Ben Hieltjes led New Westminster Salmonbellies in a one game Minto Cup final. In 1985 the team was 19-5 in the regular season, 8-0 in the Ontario playoffs and in seven games beat the Gary and Paul Gait led Esquimalt Legion to capture a second straight Minto Cup.”
The induction banquet will be held November 9 at the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the ANVIL Centre in New Westminster, BC.
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