Griffins Go Retro

The Wallaceburg Intermediate Griffins jumped in a time machine and brought back some fast looking throwback jerseys.

Jason Fox, Head Coach, explains the premise behind the jerseys:

” I started to reflect on my time coaching the Intermediate team and how this year marks our 10th season running the program after not having Intermediate lacrosse in Wallaceburg for years, I was thinking back to the summer of 2007 when I was preparing for another laid back summer with no obligations, then my brother (Jeff Fox) was contacted about getting involved with the program and his first call was to me.  Long story short I agreed to go help out at the first practice and to meet this guy named Gerry King.”

Gerry King was just like another Wallaceburgian, except he had a heart larger than the universe itself. He seen that after midget, if your lacrosse skills weren’t Jr. B level, your career was over. Many kids expressed interest in an intermediate team, so Gerry decided he wanted to help.

Mr. King reached out to the Fox’s, although Gerry had no prior lacrosse knowledge, he was 200% committed to the team. Jason recalls their first interaction with Gerry King, it went a little something like this:

“I need your help.  All of these boys want to have a place to play lacrosse but we don’t have any coaches. I don’t know much about lacrosse and I don’t know how to coach lacrosse, but I will do everything for you guys and for the team.  I will do game sheets, I will fill water bottles, trainers kit, and be in charge of the jerseys.  I will manage all clerical duties book campsites and hotels, plan tournaments and anything else you guys need.  You just need to show up and coach.”

As you could imagine, that was quite the sales pitch and the Fox’s quickly agreed.

Not only did the team grow, but the relationship among the Fox family and King family did as well. Over the years, they all grew close becoming family. They all sacrificed a lot financially, physically, and emotionally. Through the ups and downs, they persevered and grew the Intermediate program.

All their years of hard work finally paid off in 2014. They played an incredible tournament, and they found themselves in the gold medal game of the Ontario Provincial Championhsips. They were able to capture a gold medal at the Provincial Championships. Unfortunately the man who made everything happen, passed away suddenly in April of that year. The team won the Championship in memory of Gerry.

Gerry passion for lacrosse inspired the Fox’s to create these jerseys.

The jerseys pay tribute to the history of Wallaceburg Griffins and to everyone who was ever lucky enough to wear the brown and orange with pride. Jason wanted make a 10 year logo that was significant and meaningful to their 10 years. Brian Dewagner was extremely excited with Jason’s idea and the concepts, and after swearing him to secrecy until the unveiling, they began to collaborate ideas and he put his artistic talent to work. The jersey showing the 2007 – 2016 seasons and incorporating a Fox in the zero of the number 10. This signifies Fox’s involvement over the ten years, the Fox is also wearing a Crown to represent Gerry King to recognize his contributions.

Only Jason, hi brother, Brian Dewagner and Rory Smith knew exactly what Jason was up to.  Funding was hard to come by especially with all the secrecy. Jason ended up paying for a large chunk. Jason added, “Its pretty difficult to ask sponsors for donations but not tell them exactly how the money will be used.”

Fortunately,a few great people step up. Jason’s broth Dr. Jeff Fox, who is a local Chiropractor in town, Kyle O’Neil who is GM of Sales at Riverview Automobile Ltd, Dr. Michael Rocca a local Dentist and Scott Barko who coaches the Girls Intermediate team with me all generously donated money to the jersey venture.

The jerseys were well received raving reviews, some even stating that all of minor lacrosse in Wallaceburg should go back to the orange, white and brown. Gerry’s widowed wife also received her very own jersey, with the number 43, which was the year Gerry was born (1943).

Although the Fox’s have given up a lot for lacrosse, there is nothing else they would rather being doing.

“I am truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to share this with everyone who has ever been apart of Griffin lacrosse. The Griffin tradition is alive and well. I’ve never been more proud to call myself a Griffin.”

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