Midland Braves Pee Wee Lacrosse Team

1983 Canadian Champions

The Midland Braves of 1983 won the Canadian Lacrosse Association Peewee “C” Championship that August in a tournament held in Barrie. They aculminated an undefeated tournament appearance by whipping Whitby 11-4 in the title game to claim the championship. It was a sweet victory since the Braves had finished as runners-up the previous year at the Championships held in Burnaby, B.C. Jamie Peden scored an important goal in the 1983 championship game. The score was close at 5-3 when Peden scored from a face-off to start the Braves on a rampage that saw them tally six straight goals to seal the victory. Peden, now working in the optical business in Midland, recalled the goal recently. “I really didn’t remember that the game was close when I scored,” he said. “But, I do remember I jumped like crazy into the arms of Chris Walser after I scored. They (Whitby) didn’t get another goal until the final two seconds or something. Chris and I were watching the video just a little while ago and we were laughing when we saw that jump.” As is often the case, a win of this magnitude unites the players for a lifetime. To paraphrase former Philadelphia Flyers’ coach Fred Shero, “if you win as a team, you will walk together forever.” The team, or at least a core of it, still remains friends and in contact with each other. They received videos of the final game after they won and every once in a while some of them get together to view it again. The Braves compiled a record of 26 wins and six losses as they won the Huronia championship and rolled through the Canadian championship tournament undefeated, outscoring the opposition by a margin of 56-22. However, Peden recalled that one win at the championships was particularly tough and a sweet victory. “The toughest game was against Barrie. They had our former coach Dave Chalmers and his son, Dave who was a former teammate,” said Peden. “We won the game 2-1 and it was a very emotional win.” That Barrie win was the second of their victories in the tournament: they beat Whiterock. B.C. 10-3, Barrie 2-1, Scarborough 6-1, Windsor 11-5, Aurora 7-4, Windsor again in the semi-finals 9-4, and then Whitby 11-4 in the championship game. The team was looking forward to the championships all season, since they had come so close the year before. “We were looking forward to it all season. We knew we were a good team,” recalled Peden. “We were confident by the time we played Whitby in the finals, since we had played them four or five times during the season and never lost to them.” There was more to it than confidence though, as coach Brian Walser pointed out in a postgame statement in 1983. “Even though we won the gold medal, I’d say the most important thing about this game was that we kept our cool and played as a team,” he said at the time. “It could have gone either way in the first part of the game but they gave us a chance and we took it. They opened the middle and we started scoring.” That’s a characteristic of all true champions. The team was made up of players Sean Lunnie, Bill Bisson, Don Kruger, Rick Bianco, Shawn Price, John Richardson, Shane Nichols, Shawn Desjardins, Jamie Peden, Dale Ironsidc, Chris Bauman, Gary Moore, Chris Walser, Jesse Perrault, John Brophy and Greg Scott. The coaches were Brian Walser and Jack Scott while Shelly Price was equipment manager and Gary Price was the manager. In looking back, the Braves also had their other priorities in order. “I remember we were all happy to win the championship after getting close the year before,” said Jamie Peden. But we were also very grateful to the parents who gave up so much to come to the games and support us all season.” Truly a championship attitude.